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Scientific Study 
Of Unidentified 
Flying Objects 



Dr. Edward U. Condon & Walter Sullivan 



Condon Report, University of Colorado Submission Letter 



9/25/2014 



UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO 

PRESIDENT'S OFFICE 
BOULDER,COLORADO 80302 

October 31, 1968 



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The Honorable Harold Brown 
Secretary of the Air Force 
The Pentagon 
Washington, D. C. 

Dear Dr. Brown: 

Pursuant to Contract No. F44620-67-C-0035 between the United States Air Force and the University of Colorado, I transmit herewith 
the final report of the Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects. 

As you know, the University undertook this study at the urging of the Air Force, not only for its purely scientific aspects, but in order that 
there might be no question that any of the matters reported herein reflect anything other than strict attention to the discovery and 
disclosure of the facts. I want to take this occasion to assure you that, under the direction of Dr. Edward U. Condon, the study has 
been made and the report prepared with this thought constantly in mind. The Air Force has been most cooperative, both in respect to 
furnishing the project with all information in its possession bearing upon the subject matter of the investigation and, equally important, 
in pursuing most scrupulously a policy of complete noninterference with the work of Dr. Condon and his staff. There has never been the 
slightest suggestion of any effort on the part of the Air Force to influence either the conduct of the investigation or the content of this 
report. 

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The Honorable Harold Brown October 31, 1968 
Page 2. 

As a consequence of this cooperation and of a diligent effort on the part of scientists at this University, at the Environmental Science 
Services Administration, at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and at other universities and scientific institutions, the 
report transmitted to you herewith is, I believe, as thorough as the time and funds allotted for the purpose could possibly permit. 

We hope and believe that it will have the effect of placing the controversy as to the nature of unidentified flying objects in a proper 
scientific perspective. We also trust that it will stimulate scientific research along lines that may yield important new knowledge. 

Sincerely yours, 
J. R. Smiley 
President 



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Condon Report Preface 



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PREFACE 



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On 31 August 1966, Colonel Ivan C. Atkinson, Deputy Executive Director of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, addressed a 
letter to the University of Colorado. In it he outlined the belief of AFOSR that a scientific investigation of unidentified flying objects 
conducted wholly outside the jurisdiction of the Air Force would be of unusual significance from the standpoint of both scientific 
interest in and public concern with the subject. Colonel Atkinson requested "that the University of Colorado participate in this 
investigation as the grantee institution." The University was asked to undertake this scientific study with the unconditional guarantee 
that "the scientists involved will have complete freedom to design and develop techniques for the investigation of the varied physical 
and psychological questions raised in conjunction with this phenomenon according to their best scientific judgment." 

The request of AFOSR was pursuant to the recommendation made in March, 1966, of an ad hoc panel of the United States Air Force 
Scientific Advisory Board, chaired by Dr. Brian O'Brien. Subsequently, as chairman of the Advisory Committee to the Air Force 
Systems Command of the National Academy Sciences-National Research Council, Dr. OBrien had advised AFOSR on the suitability 
of the University of Colorado as the grantee institution. 

Following receiptof Colonel Atkinsons request in behalf of AFOSR, the University administration and interested members of the 
faculty discussed the proposed study project. The subject was recognized as being both elusive and controversial in its scientific 
aspects. For this reason alone, there was an understandable reluctance on the part of many scientists to undertake such a study. 
Scientists hesitate to commit their time to research that does not appear to offer reasonably 

[[V]] 



clear avenues by which definite progress maybe made. In addition, the subject had achieved considerable notoriety over the years. 
Many popular books and magazine articles had criticized the Air Force for not devoting more attention to the subject; others criticized 
the Air Force for paying any attention whatever to UFOs. 

Bearing these facts in mind, the University administration concluded that it had an obligation to the country to do what it could to clarify 
a tangled and confused issue while making entirely certain that the highest academic and scientific standards would be maintained. 
Fortunately, Dr. Edward U. Condon, Professor of Physics and Fellow of the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, shared this 
concern and was willing to accept appointment as scientific director of the project. Designated as principal investigators with Dr. 
Condon were Dr. Stuart Cook, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychology, and Dr. Franklin E. Roach, physicist 
specializing in atmospheric physics at the Environmental Science Services Administration. Assistant Dean Robert J. Low of the 
Graduate School was appointed project coordinator. 

The University undertook the study only on condition that it would be conducted as a normal scientific research project, subject only to 
the professional scientific judgment of the director and his aides. Freedom from control bythe granting agency was guaranteed not 
only bythe assertions of Colonel Atkinson, but also bythe provision that the complete report of the findings of the study would be 
made available to the public. 

In addition the University recognized that this study, as the first undertaken on a broad scale in this field, would have seminal effect. It 
therefore desired the cooperation of the scientific community at large. Assurances of support and counsel were forthcoming from such 
institutions as the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR3 and the Environmental Science Services Administration 
(ESSA), and from 

M] 



many scientists and scientific institutions in other parts of the country. 

The University also welcomed an arrangement whereby the methods and results of the study would be critically examined at the 
conclusion of the project. This cooperation was extended bythe National Academy of Sciences, which announced in its October 1966 
A/ei/is f?epoAt that the Academy had agreed to review the University of Colorado study upon its completion in 1968. Unhesitatingly 
agreeing to this independent examination of the study, the ASOFR announced that it would consider the NAS review a "further 
independent check on the scientific validity of the method of investigation. 

In October, 1966, the scientific director assembled a modest staff centered at the University campus in Boulder and work began. In 
addition, agreements were entered into between the University and such institutions as NCAR, the Institutes of ESSA, the Stanford 
Research Institute and the University of Arizona for the scientific and technical services of persons in specialized fields of knowledge 
bearing upon the subject under investigation. Thus it became possible to study specific topics both at Boulder and elsewhere and to 
bring to bear upon the data gathered bythe project's field investigation teams whatever expertise might be required for full analysis of 
the information. 

The report of the study that was conducted over the ensuing 18 months is presented on the following pages. It is lengthy and diverse in 
the subjects it treats, which range from history to critical examination of eye-witness reports; from laboratory analysis to presentation of 
general scientific principles. No claim of perfection is made for this study or for its results, since like any scientific endeavor, it could 



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Condon Report Preface 



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have been improved upon - especially from the vantage-point of hindsight. The reader should thus bear in mind that this study 
represents the first attempt by a group of highly qualified scientists and specialists to examine coldly and dispassionately a subject 
that has 

[[vii]] 



aroused the imagination and emotions of some persons and has intrigued many others. No one study can answer all questions; but it 
can point out new lines for research, it can cross off some ideas as not fruitful for further inquiry, and it can lay to rest at least some 
rumors, exaggerations, and imaginings. 

Thurston E. Manning 

Vice Presidentfor Academic Affairs 

Boulder, Colorado 

October 31, 1968 



[[viii]] 



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Condon Report, Section I: Conclusions & Recommendations 



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Section I 

Conclusions and Recommendations 
Edward U. Condon 



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[[1]] 



We believe that the existing record and the results of the Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects of the University of Colorado, 
which are presented in detail in subsequent sections of this report, support the conclusions and recommendations which follow. 

As indicated by its title, the emphasis of this study has been on attempting to learn from UFO reports anything that could be 
considered as adding to scientific knowledge. Our general conclusion is that nothing has come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 
years that has added to scientific knowledge. Careful consideration of the record as it is available to us leads us to conclude that 
further extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified in the expectation that science will be advanced thereby. 

It has been argued that this lack of contribution to science is due to the fact that very little scientific effort has been put on the subject. 
We do not agree. We feel that the reason that there has been very little scientific study of the subject is that those scientists who are 
most directly concerned, astronomers, atmospheric physicists, chemists, and psychologists, having had ample opportunity to look into 
the matter, have individually decided that UFO phenomena do not offer a fruitful field in which to look for major scientific discoveries. 

This conclusion is so important, and the public seems in general to have so little understanding of how scientists work, that some more 
comment on it seems desirable. Each person who sets out to make a career of scientific research, chooses a general field of broad 
specialization in which to acquire proficiency. Within that field he looks for specific fields in which to work. To do this he keeps abreast 
of the published scientific literature, attends scientific meetings, where reports on current progress are given, and energetically 
discusses his interests and those of his colleagues both face-to-face and by 

[[2]] 



correspondence with them. He is motivated by an active curiosity about nature and by a personal desire to make a contribution to 
science. He is constantly probing for error and incompleteness in the efforts that have been made in his fields of interest, and looking 
for new ideas about new ways to attack new problems. From this effort he arrives at personal decisions as to where his own effort can 
be most fruitful. These decisions are personal in the sense that he must estimate his own intellectual limitations, and the limitations 
inherent in the working situation in which he finds himself, including limits on the support of his work, or his involvement with other pre- 
existing scientific commitments. While individual errors of judgment may arise, it is generally not true that all of the scientists who are 
actively cultivating a given field of science are wrong for very long. 

Even conceding that the entire body of "official" science might be in errorfor a time, we believe that there is no better way to correct 
error than to give free reign to the ideas of individual scientists to make decisions as to the directions in which scientific progress is 
most likely to be made. For legal work sensible people seek an attorney, and for medical treatment sensible people seek a qualified 
physician. The nation's surest guarantee of scientific excellence is to leave the decision-making process to the individual and 
collective judgment of its scientists. 

Scientists are no respecters of authority. Our conclusion that study of UFO reports is not likely to advance science will not be 
uncritically accepted by them. Nor should it be, nor do we wish it to be. For scientists, it is our hope that the detailed analytical 
presentation of what we were able to do, and of what we were unable to do, will assist them in deciding whetheror not they agree with 
our conclusions. Our hope is that the details of this report will help other scientists in seeing what the problems are and the difficulties 
of coping with them. 

If they agree with our conclusions, they will turn their valuable attention and talents elsewhere. If they disagree it will be because 

[[3]] 



our report has helped them reach a clear picture of wherein existing studies are faulty or incomplete and thereby will have stimulated 
ideas for more accurate studies. If they do get such ideas and can formulate them clearly, we have no doubt that support will be 
forthcoming to carry on with such clearly-defined, specific studies. We think that such ideas for work should be supported. 

Some readers may think that we have now wandered into a contradiction. Earlier we said that we do not think study of UFO reports is 
likely to be a fruitful direction of scientific advance; now we have just said that persons with good ideas for specific studies in this field 
should be supported. This is no contradiction. Although we conclude after nearly two years of intensive study, that we do not see any 
fruitful lines of advance from the study of UFO reports, we believe that any scientist with adequate training and credentials who does 



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Condon Report, Section I: Conclusions & Recommendations 



come up with a clearly defined, specific proposal for study should be supported. 



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1 



What we are saying here was said in a more general context nearly a century ago by William Kingdon Clifford, a great English 
mathematical physicist. In his "Aims and Instruments of Scientific Thought" he expressed himself this way: 

Remember, then, that [scientific thought] is the guide of action; that the truth which it arrives at is not that which we can 
ideally contemplate without error, but that which we may act upon without fear; and you cannot fail to see that scientific 
thought is not an accompaniment or condition of human progress, but human progress itself. 

Just as individual scientists may make errors of judgment about fruitful directions for scientific effort, so also any individual 
administrator or committee which is charged with deciding on financial support for research proposals may also make an error of 
judgment. This possibility is minimized by the existence of parallel channels, for consideration by more than one group, of proposals 
for research 

[[4]] 



projects. In the period since 1945, the federal government has evolved flexible and effective machinery for giving careful consideration 
to proposals from properly qualified scientists. What to some may seem like duplicated machinery actually acts as a safeguard 
against errors being made by some single official body. Even so, some errors could be made but the hazard is reduced nearly to 
zero. 

Therefore we think that all of the agencies of the federal government, and the private foundations as well, ought to be willing to 
consider UFO research proposals along with the others submitted to them on an open-minded, unprejudiced basis. While we do not 
think at present that anything worthwhile is likely to come of such research each individual case ought to be carefully considered on its 
own merits. 

This formulation carries with it the corollary that we do not think that at this time the federal government ought to set up a major new 
agency, as some have suggested, for the scientific study of UFOs. This conclusion may not be true for all time. If, by the progress of 
research based on new ideas in this field, it then appears worthwhile to create such an agency, the decision to do so may be taken at 
that time. 

We find that there are important areas of atmospheric optics, including radio wave propagation, and of atmospheric electricity in 
which present knowledge is quite incomplete. These topics came to our attention in connection with the interpretation of some UFO 
reports, but they are also of fundamental scientific interest, and they are relevant to practical problems related to the improvement of 
safety of military and civilian flying. 

Research efforts are being carried out in these areas by the Department of Defense, the Environmental Science Services 
Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and by universities and nonprofit research organizations such as 
the National Center for Atmospheric Research, whose work is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. We commend these 
efforts. By no means should our lack of 

[[5]] 



enthusiasm forstudy of UFO reports as such be misconstrued as a recommendation that these important related fields of scientific 
work not be adequately supported in the future. In an era of major development of air travel, of space exploration, and of military 
aerospace activities, everything possible should be done to improve our basic understanding of all atmospheric phenomena, and to 
improve the training of astronauts and aircraft pilots in the recognition and understanding of such phenomena. 

As the reader of this report will readily judge, we have focussed attention almost entirely on the physical sciences. This was in part a 
matter of determining priorities and in part because we found rather less than some persons may have expected in the way of 
psychiatric problems related to belief in the reality of UFOs as craft from remote galactic or intergalactic civilizations. We believe that 
the rigorous study of the beliefs-unsupported by valid evidence-held by individuals and even by some groups might prove of scientific 
value to the social and behavioral sciences. There is no implication here that individual or group psychopathology is a principal area 
of study. Reports of UFOs offer interesting challenges to the student of cognitive processes as they are affected by individual and 
social variables. By this connection, we conclude that a content-analysis of press and television coverage of UFO reports might yield 
data of value both to the social scientist and the communications specialist. The lack of such a study in the present report is due to a 
judgment on our part that other areas of investigation were of much higher priority. We do not suggest, however, that the UFO 
phenomenon is, by its nature, more amenable to study in these disciplines than in the physical sciences. On the contrary, we conclude 
that the same specificity in proposed research in these areas is as desirable as it is in the physical sciences. 

The question remains as to what, if anything, the federal government should do about the UFO reports it receives from the general 
public. We are inclined to think that nothing should be done with them in the expectation that they are going to contribute to the 
advance of science. 

[[6]] 



This question is inseparable from the question of the national defense interest of these reports. The history of the past 21 years has 
repeatedly led Air Force officers to the conclusion that none of the things seen, or thought to have been seen, which pass by the name 
of UFO reports, constituted any hazard or threat to national security. 



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We felt that it was out of our province to attempt an independent evaluation of this conclusion. We adopted the attitude that, without 
attempting to assume the defense responsibility which is that of the Air Force, if we came across any evidence whatever that seemed 
to us to indicate a defense hazard we would call it to the attention of the Air Force at once. We did not find any such evidence. We 
know of no reason to question the finding of the Air Force that the whole class of UFO reports so far considered does not pose a 
defense problem. 

At the same time, however, the basis for reaching an opinion of this kind is that such reports have been given attention, one by one, as 
they are received. Had no attention whatever been given to any of them, we would not be in a position to feel confident of this 
conclusion. Therefore it seems that only so much attention to the subject should be given as the Department of Defense deems to be 
necessary strictly from a defense point of view. The level of effort should not be raised because of arguments that the subject has 
scientific importance, so far as present indications go. 

It is our impression that the defense function could be performed within the framework established for intelligence and surveillance 
operations without the continuance of a special unit such as Project Blue Book, but this is a question for defense specialists rather 
than research scientists. 

It has been contended that the subject has been shrouded in official secrecy. We conclude othenA/ise. We have no evidence of 
secrecy concerning UFO reports. What has been miscalled secrecy has been no more than an intelligent policy of delay in releasing 
data so that the public does not become confused by premature publication of incomplete studies of reports. 

[[7]] 



The subject of UFOs has been widely misrepresented to the public by a small number of individuals who have given sensationalized 
presentations in writings and public lectures. So far as we can judge, not many people have been misled by such irresponsible 
behavior, but whatever effect there has been has been bad. 

A related problem to which we wish to direct public attention is the miseducation in our schools which arises from the fact that many 
children are being allowed, if not actively encouraged, to devote their science study time to the reading of UFO books and magazine 
articles of the type referred to in the preceding paragraph. We feel that children are educationally harmed by absorbing unsound and 
erroneous material as if it were scientifically well founded. Such study is harmful not merely because of the erroneous nature of the 
material itself, but also because such study retards the development of a critical faculty with regard to scientific evidence, which to 
some degree ought to be part of the education of every American. 

Therefore we strongly recommend that teachers refrain from giving students credit for school work based on their reading of the 
presently available UFO books and magazine articles. Teachers who find their students strongly motivated in this direction should 
attempt to channel their interests in the direction of serious study of astronomy and meteorology, and in the direction of critical analysis 
of arguments for fantastic propositions that are being supported by appeals to fallacious reasoning or false data. 

We hope that the results of our study will prove useful to scientists and those responsible for the formation of public policy generally in 
dealing with this problem which has now been with us for 21 years. 

[[8]] 



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Condon Report, Section II: SummarY of the Study 



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Section II 
Summaty of the Study 
Edward U. Condon 



1. 


Oriain of the Colorado Project 


11. 


Light Propagation and Visual Perception 


2. 


Definition of an UFO 


12. 


Studv of UFO photoaraphs 


3. 


UFO Reports 


13. 


Direct and Indirect Physical Evidence 


4. 


Proloaue to the Project 


14. 


Radar Sightings of UFOs 


5. 


Initial Planning 


15. 


Visual Observation made by U.S. Astronauts 


6. 


Field Investigations 


16. 


Public Attitudes Toward UFOs 


7. 


Explaining UFO Reports 


17. 


Other Psvcholoaical Studies 


8. 


Sources of UFO Reports 


18. 


Instrumentation for UFO Searches 


9. 


Extra-terrestrial Hypothesis 


19. 


Conclusion 



10. Intelligent Life Elsewhere REFERENCES 

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[[9]] 



1. Origin of the Colorado Project 

The decision to establish this project for the Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects stems from recommendations in a report 
dated March 1966 of an Ad Hoc Committee of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board set up under the chairmanship of Dr. Brian 
O'Brien to review the work of Project Blue Book. Details of the history of work on UFOs are set forth in Section V, Chapter 2. (See 
also Appendix A.) 

The recommendation was: 

It is the opinion of the Committee that the present Air Force program dealing with UFO sightings has been well organized, 
although the resources assigned to it (only one officer, a sergeant, and a secretary) have been quite limited. In 1 9 years 
and more than 10,000 sightings recorded and classified, there appears to be no verified and fully satisfactory evidence of 
any case that is clearly outside the framework of presently known science and technology. Nevertheless, there is always 
the possibility that analysis of new sightings may provide some additions to scientific knowledge of value to the Air Force. 
Moreover, some of the case records at which the Committee looked that were listed as 'identified' were sightings where 
the evidence collected was too meager or too indefinite to permit positive listing in the identified category. Because of this 
the Committee recommends that the present program be strengthened to provide opportunity for scientific investigation of 
selected sightings in more detail than has been possible to date. 

To accomplish this it is recommended that: 

A. Contracts be negotiated with a few selected universities to provide scientific teams to investigate promptly and in depth 
certain selected sightings of UFO's. Each team should include at least one psychologist, preferably one interested in 
clinical psychology, and at least one physical 

[[10]] 



scientist, preferably an astronomer or geophysicist familiar with atmospheric physics. The universities should be chosen to 
provide good geographical distribution, and should be within convenient distance of a base of the Air Force Systems 
Command (AFSC). 

B. At each AFSC base an officer skilled in investigation (but not necessarily with scientific training) should be designated 
to work with the corresponding university team for that geographical section. The local representative of the Air Force 
Office of Special Investigations (OS I) might be a logical choice for this. 

C. One university or one not-for-profit organization should be selected to coordinate the work of the teams mentioned 
under A above, and also to make certain of very close communication and coordination with the office of Project Blue 
Book. 

It is thought that perhaps 1 00 sightings a year might be subjected to this close study, and that possibly an average of 1 0 
man days might be required per sighting so studied. The information provided by such a program might bring to light new 
facts of scientific value, and would almost certainly provide a far better basis than we have today for decision on a long 
term UFO program. 

These recommendations were referred by the Secretary of the Air Force to the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for 



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implementation, which, after study, decided to combine recommendations A and C so as to have a single contracting university with 
authority to subcontract with other research groups as needed. Recommendation B was implemented by the issuance of Air Force 
Regulation 80-1 7 (Appendix B) which establishes procedures for handling UFO reports at the Air Force bases. 

In setting up the Colorado project, as already stated in Section I, the emphasis was on whether deeper study of unidentified flying 
objects 

[[11]] 



might provide some "additions to scientific knowledge." 

After considering various possibilities, the AFOSR staff decided to ask the University of Colorado to undertake the project (see 
Preface). Dr. J. Thomas Ratchford visited Boulder in late July 1966 to learn whether the University would be willing to undertake the 
task. A second meeting was held on 10 August 1966 in which the scope of the proposed study was outlined to an interested group of 
the administrative staff and faculty of the University by Dr. Ratchford and Dr. William Price, executive director of AFOSR. After due 
deliberation. University officials decided to undertake the project. 

The contract provided that the planning, direction and conclusions of the Colorado project were to be conducted wholly independently 
of the Air Force. To avoid duplication of effort, the Air Force was ordered to furnish the project with the records of its own earlier work 
and to provide the support of personnel at AF bases when requested by our field teams. 

We were assured that the federal government would withhold no information on the subject, and that all essential information about 
UFOs could be included in this report. Where UFO sightings involve classified missile launchings or involve the use of classified radar 
systems, this fact is merely stated as to do more would involve violation of security on these military subjects. In our actual experience 
these reservations have affected a negligible fraction of the total material and have not affected the conclusions (Section I) which we 
draw from our work. 

The first research contract with AFOSR provided $31 3,000 for the first 1 5 months from 1 November 1 966 to 31 January 1 968. The 
contract was publicly announced on 7 October 1 966. It then became our task to investigate those curious entities distinguished by lack 
of knowledge of what they are, rather than informs of what they are known to be, namely, unidentified flying objects. 

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2. Definition of an UFO 

An unidentified flying object (UFO, pronounced OOFO) is here defined as the stimulus for a report made by one or more individuals of 
something seen in the sky (or an object thought to be capable of flight but when landed on the earth) which the observer could not 
identify as having an ordinary natural origin, and which seemed to him sufficiently puzzling that he undertook to make a report of it to 
police, to government officials, to the press, or perhaps to a representative of a private organization devoted to the study of such 
objects. 

Defined in. this way, there is no question as to the existence of UFOs, because UFO reports exist in fairly large numbers, and the 
stimulus for each report is, by this definition, an UFO. The problem then becomes that of learning to recognize the various kinds of 
stimuli that give rise to UFO reports. 

The UFO is "the stimulus for a report . . ." This language refrains from saying whether the reported object was a real, physical, material 
thing, or a visual impression of an ordinary physical thing distorted by atmospheric conditions or by faulty vision so as to be 
unrecognizable, or whether it was a purely mental delusion existing in the mind of the observer without an accompanying visual 
stimulus. 

The definition includes insincere reports in which the alleged sighter undertakes for whatever reason to deceive. In the case of a 
delusion, the reporter is not aware of the lack of a visual stimulus. In the case of a deception, the reporter knows that he is not telling 
the truth about his alleged experience. 

The words "which he could not identify . ." are of crucial importance. The stimulus gives rise to an UFO report precisely because the 
observer could not identify the thing seen. A woman and her husband reported a strange thing seen flying in the sky and reported quite 
correctly that she knew "it was unidentified because neither of us knew what it was." 

The thing seen and reported may have been an object as commonplace 

[[13]] 



as the planet Venus, but it became an UFO because the observer did not know what it was. With this usage it is clear that less well 
informed individuals are more likely to see an UFO than those who are more knowledgeable because the latter are better able to 
make direct identification of what they see. A related complication is that less well informed persons are often inaccurate observers 
who are unable to give an accurate account of what they believe that they have seen. 



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If additional study of a report later provides an ordinary interpretation of what was seen, some have suggested that we should change 
its name to IFO, for identified flying object. But we have elected to go on calling it an UFO because some identifications are tentative 
or controversial, due to lack of sufficient data on which to base a definite identification. A wide variety of ordinary objects have through 
misinterpretation given rise to UFO reports. This topic is discussed in detail in Section VI, Chapter 2. (The Air Force has published a 
pamphlet entitled, "Aids to Identification of Flying Objects" (USAF, 1968) which is a useful aid in the interpretation of something seen 
which might othenA/ise be an UFO.) 

The words "sufficiently puzzling that they undertook to make a report . . " are essential. As a practical matter, we can not study 
something that is not reported, so a puzzling thing seen but not reported is not here classed as an UFO. 

BACK TO TOP 

3. UFO Reports 

In our experience, the persons making reports seem in nearly all cases to be normal, responsible individuals. In most cases they are 
quite calm, at least by the time they make a report. They are simply puzzled about what they saw and hope that they can be helped to a 
better understanding of it. Only a very few are obviously quite emotionally disturbed, their minds being filled with pseudo-scientific, 
pseudo-religious or other fantasies. Cases of this kind range from slight disturbance to those who are manifestly in need of psychiatric 
care. The latter form an extremely small minority of all the persons 

[[14]] 



encountered in this study. While the existence of a few mentally unbalanced persons among UFO observers is part of the total 
situation, it is completely incorrect and unfair to imply that all who report UFOs are "crazy kooks," just as it is equally incorrect to ignore 
the fact that there are mentally disturbed persons among them. 

Individuals differ greatly as to their tendency to make reports. Among the reasons for not reporting UFOs are apathy, lack of 
awareness of public interest, fear of ridicule, lack of knowledge as to where to report and the time and cost of making a report. 

We found that reports are not useful unless they are made promptly. Even so, because of the short duration of most UFO stimuli, the 
report usually can not be made until after the UFO has disappeared. A few people telephoned to us from great distances to describe 
something seen a year or two earlier. Such reports are of little value. 

Early in the study we tried to estimate the fraction of all of the sightings that are reported. In social conversations many persons could 
tell us about some remarkable and puzzling thing that they had seen at some time in the past which would sound just as remarkable as 
many of the things that are to be found in UFO report files. Then we would ask whether they had made a report and in most cases 
would be told that they had not. As a rough guess based on this uncontrolled sample, we estimate that perhaps 10% of the sightings 
that people are willing to talk about later are all that get reported at the time. This point was later covered in a more formal public 
attitude survey (Section III, Chapter 7) made for this study in which only 7% of those who said they had seen an UFO had reported it 
previously. Thus if all people reported sightings that are like those that some people do report, the number of reports that would be 
received would be at least ten times greater than the number actually received. 

At first we thought it would be desirable to undertake an extensive publicity campaign to try to get more complete reporting from the 
public. It was decided not to do this, because about 90% of all UFO reports 

[[15]] 



prove to be quite plausibly related to ordinary objects. A tenfold increase in the number of reports would have multiplied by ten the task 
of eliminating the ordinary cases which would have to be analyzed. Our available resources for field study enabled us to deal only with 
a small fraction of the reports coming in. No useful purpose would have been served under, these circumstances by stimulating the 
receipt of an even greater number. 

Study of records of some UFO reports from other parts of the world gave us the strong impression that these were made up of a mix 
of cases of similar kind to those being reported in the United States. For example, in August 1967 Prof. James McDonald of Arizona 
made a 20-day trip to Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand in the course of which he interviewed some 80 persons who had made 
UFO reports there at various times. On his return he gave us an account of these experiences that confirmed our impression that the 
reports from these other parts of the world were, as a class, similar to those being received in the United States. Therefore we 
decided to restrict our field studies to the United States and to one or two cases in Canada (See Section III, Chapter 1 ) This was done 
on the practical grounds of reducing travel expense and of avoiding diplomatic and language difficulties. The policy was decided on 
after preliminary study had indicated that in broad generality the spectrum of kinds of UFO reports being received in other countries 
was very similar to our own. 

BACK TO TOP 

4. Prologue to the Project 

Official interest in UFOs, or "flying saucers" as they were called- at first dates from June 1 947. On 24 June, Kenneth Arnold, a 
business man of Boise, Idaho was flying a private airplane near Mt. Rainier, Washington. He reported seeing a group of objects flying 
along in a line which he said looked "like pie plates skipping over the water." The newspaper reports called the things seen "flying 
saucers" and they have been so termed ever since, although not all UFOs are described as being of this shape. 



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[[16]] 



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Soon reports of flying saucers were coming in from various parts of the country. Many received prominent press coverage (Bloecher, 
1 967). UFOs were also reported from other countries; in fact, more than a thousand such reports were made in Sweden in 1 946. 

The details of reports vary so greatly that it is impossible to relate them all to any single explanation. The broad range of things 
reported is much the same in different countries. This means that a general explanation peculiar to any one country has to be ruled out, 
since it is utterly improbable that the secret military aircraft of any one country would be undergoing test flights in different countries. 
Similarly it is most unlikely that military forces of different countries would be testing similar developments all over the world at the 
same time in secrecy from each other. 

Defense authorities had to reckon with the possibility that UFOs might represent flights of a novel military aircraft of some foreign 
power. Private citizens speculated that the UFOs were test flights of secret American aircraft. Cognizance of the UFO problem was 
naturally assumed by the Department of the Air Force in the then newly established Department of Defense. Early investigations were 
carried on in secrecy by the Air Force, and also by the governments of other nations. 

Such studies in the period 1947-52 convinced the responsible authorities of the Air Force that the UFOs, as observed up to that time, 
do not constitute a threat to national security. In consequence, ever since that time, a minimal amount of attention has been given to 
them. 

The year 1952 brought an unusually large number of UFO reports, including many in the vicinity of the Washington National Airport, 
during a period of several days in July. Such a concentration of reports in a small region in a short time is called a "flap." The 
Washington flap of 1952 received a great deal of attention at the time (Section III, Chapters). 

[[17]] 



At times in 1 952, UFO reports were coming in to the Air Force from the general public in such numbers as to produce some clogging 
of military communications channels. It was thought that an enemy planning a sneak attack might deliberately stimulate a great wave of 
UFO reports for the very purpose of clogging communication facilities. This consideration was in the forefront of a study that was 
made in January 1953 by a panel of scientists under the chairmanship of the late H. P. Robertson, professor of mathematical physics 
at the California Institute of Technology (Section V, Chapter 2). This panel recommended that efforts be made to remove the aura of 
mystery surrounding the subject and to conduct a campaign of public education designed to produce a better understanding of the 
situation. This group also concluded that there was no evidence in the available data of any real threat to national security. 

Since 1953 the results of UFO study have been unclassified, except where tangential reasons exist for withholding details, as, for 
example, where sightings are related to launchings of classified missiles, or to the use of classified radar systems. 

During the period from March 1952 to the present, the structure for handling UFO reports in the Air Force has been called Project Blue 
Book. As already mentioned the work of Project Blue Book was reviewed in early 1966 by the committee headed by Dr. Brian 
O'Brien. This review led to the reaffirmation that no security threat is posed by the existence of a few unexplained UFO reports, but the 
committee suggested a study of the possibility that something of scientific value might come from a more detailed study of some of 
the reports than was considered necessary from a strictly military viewpoint. This recommendation eventuated in the setting up of the 
Colorado project 

The story of Air Force interest, presented in Section V. Chapter 2, shows that from the beginning the possibility that some UFOs might 
be manned vehicles from outer space was considered, but naturally no publicity was given to this idea because of the total lack of 
evidence 

[[18]] 



for it. 

Paralleling the official government interest, was a burgeoning of amateur interest stimulated by newspaper and magazine reports. By 
1950 popular books on the subject began to appear on the newsstands. In January 1950 the idea that UFOs were extraterrestrial 
vehicles was put fonA/ard as a reality in an article entitled "Flying Saucers are Real" in True magazine written by Donald B. Keyhoe, a 
retired Marine Corps major. Thereafter a steady stream of sensational writing about UFOs has aroused a considerable amount of 
interest among laymen in studying the subject. 

Many amateur organizations exist, some of them rather transiently, so that it would be difficult to compile an accurate listing of them. 
Two such organizations in the United States have a national structure. These are the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization 
(APRO), with headquarters in Tucson, Arizona, claiming about 8000 members; and the National Investigations Committee for Aerial 
Phenomena (NICAP) with headquarters in Washington, D. C. and claiming some 12,000 members. James and Coral Lorenzen head 
APRO, while Keyhoe is the director of NICAP, which, despite the name and Washington address is not a government agency. Many 
other smaller groups exist, among them Saucers and Unexplained Celestial Events Research Society (SAUCERS) operated by 
James Moseley. 

Of these organizations, NICAP devotes a considerable amount of its attention to attacking the Air Force and to trying to influence 
members of Congress to hold hearings and in other ways to join in these attacks. It maintained a friendly relation to the Colorado 



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project during about the first year, while warning its members to be on guard lest the project turn out to have been "hired to whitewash 
the Air Force." During this period NICAP made several efforts to influence the course of our study. When it became clear that these 
would fail, NICAP attacked the Colorado project as "biased" and therefore without merit. 



[[19]] 



The organizations mentioned espouse a scientific approach to the study of the subject. In addition there are a number of others that 
have a primarily religious orientation. 

From 1947 to 1966 almost no attention was paid to the UFO problem by well qualified scientists. Some of the reasons for this lack of 
interest have been clearly stated by Prof. Gerard P. Kuiperof the University of Arizona (AppendixC). Concerning the difficulty of 
establishing that some UFOs may come from outer space, he makes the following cogent observation: "The problem is more difficult 
than finding a needle in a haystack; it is finding a piece of extraterrestrial hay in a terrestrial haystack, often on the basis of reports of 
believers in extra-terrestrial hay." 

BACK TO TOP 

5. Initial Planning 

A scientific approach to the UFO phenomenon must embrace a wide range of disciplines. It involves such physical sciences as 
physics, chemistry, aerodynamics, and meteorology. Since the primary material consists mostly of reports of individual observers, the 
psychology of perception, the physiology of defects of vision, and the study of mental states are also involved. 

Social psychology and social psychiatry are likewise involved in seeking to understand group motivations which act to induce belief in 
extraordinary hypotheses on the basis of what most scientists and indeed most laymen would regard as little or no evidence. These 
problems of medical and social psychology deserve more attention than we were able to give them. They fell distinctly outside of the 
field of expertise of our staff, which concentrated more on the study of the UFOs themselves than on the personal and social problems 
generated by them. 

Among those who write and speak on the subject, some strongly espouse the view that the federal government really knows a great 
deal more about UFOs than is made public. Some have gone so far as to assert that the government has actually captured 
extraterrestrial 

[[20]] 



flying saucers and has their crews in secret captivity, if not in the Pentagon, then at some secret military base. We believe that such 
teachings are fantastic nonsense, that it would be impossible to keep a secret of such enormity over two decades, and that no useful 
purpose would be served by engaging in such an alleged conspiracy of silence. One person with whom we have dealt actually 
maintains that the Air Force has nothing to do with UFOs, claiming that this super-secret matter is in the hands of the Central 
Intelligence Agency which, he says, installed one of its own agents as scientific director of the Colorado study. This story, if true, is 
indeed a well kept secret. These allegations of a conspiracy on the part of our own government to conceal knowledge of the existence 
of "flying saucers" have, so far as any evidence that has come to our attention, no factual basis whatever. 

The project's first attention was given to becoming familiar with past work in the subject. This was more difficult than in more orthodox 
fields because almost none of the many books and magazine articles dealing with UFOs could be regarded as scientifically reliable. 
There were the two books of Donald H. Menzel, director emeritus of the Harvard College Observatory and now a member of the staff 
of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (Menzel, 1952 and Boyd, 19634. Two other useful books were The UFO Evidence 
(1 964), a compilation of UFO cases by Richard Hall, and The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects by E. J. Ruppelt (1 956), the first 
head of Project Blue Book. In this initial stage we were also helped by "briefings" given by Lt. Col. Hector Quintanilla, the present head 
of Project Blue Book, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, astronomical consultant to Project Blue Book, and by Donald Keyhoe and Richard Hall of 
NICAP. 

Out of this preliminary study came the recognition of a variety of topics that would require detailed attention. These included the effects 
of optical mirages, the analogous anomalies of radio wave propagation as they affect radar, critical analysis of alleged UFO 
photographs, problems of statistical analysis of UFO reports, chemical 

[[21]] 



analysis of alleged material from UFOs, and reports of disturbances to automobile ignition and to headlights from the presence of 
UFOs. Results of the project's study of these and other topics are presented in this section and in Sections III and VI of this report. 

BACK TO TOP 

6. Field Investigations 

Early attention was given to the question of investigation of individual cases, either by detailed critical study of old records or by field 
trip investigation of current cases. From this study we concluded that there was little to be gained from the study of old cases, except 
perhaps to get ideas on mistakes to be avoided in studies of new cases. We therefore decided not to make field trips to investigate 



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cases that were more than a year old, although in a few cases we did do some work on such cases when their study could be 
combined with a field investigation of a new case. 



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At first we hoped that field teams could respond to early warning so quickly that they would be able to get to the site while the UFO 
was still there, and that our teams would not only get their own photographs, but even obtain spectrograms of the light of the UFO, and 
make radioactive, magnetic, and sound measurements while the UFO was still present. 

Such expectations were found to be in vain. Nearly all UFO sightings are of very short duration, seldom lasting as long as an hour and 
usually lasting for a few minutes. The observers often become so excited that they do not report at all until the UFO has gone away. 
With communication and travel delays, the field team was unable to get to the scene until long after the UFO had vanished. 

This was, of course, a highly unsatisfactory situation. We gave much thought to how it could be overcome and concluded that this 
could only be done by a great publicity campaign designed to get the public to report sightings much more promptly than it does, 
coupled with a nationwide scheme of having many trained field teams scattered at many points across the nation. These teams would 
have had to be ready to 

[[22]] 



respond at a moment's notice. Even so, in the vast majority of the cases, they would not have arrived in time for direct observation of 
the reported UFO. Moreover, the national publicity designed to insure more prompt reporting would have had the effect of arousing 
exaggerated public concern over the subject, and certainly would have vastly increased the number of nonsense reports to which 
response would have had to be made. In recruiting the large number of field teams, great care would have had to be exercised to 
make sure that they were staffed with people of adequate scientific training, rather than with persons emotionally committed to 
extreme pro or con views on the subject. 

Clearly this was quite beyond the means of our study. Such a program to cover the entire United States would cost many millions of 
dollars a year, and even then there would have been little likelihood that anything of importance would have been uncovered. 

In a few cases some physical evidence could be gathered by examination of a site where an UFO was reported to have landed. In 
such a case it did not matter that the field team arrived after the UFO had gone. But in no case did we obtain any convincing evidence 
of this kind although every effort was made to do so. (See below and in Section III, Chapters 3 and 4). 

Thus most of the field investigation, as it turned out, consisted in the interviewing of persons who made the report. By all odds the most 
used piece of physical equipment was the tape recorder. 

The question of a number of investigators on a field team was an important one. In most work done in the past by the Air Force, UFO 
observers were interviewed by a single Air Force officer, who usually had no special training and whose freedom to devote much time 
to the study was limited by the fact that he also had other responsibilities. When field studies are made by amateur organizations like 
APRO or NICAP, there are often several members present on a team, but usually they are persons without technical training, and often 
with a strong bias toward the sensational aspects of the subject. 

[[23]] 



Prof. Hynek strongly believes that the teams should have four or more members. He recommends giving each report what he calls the 
"FBI treatment," by which he means not only thorough interviewing of the persons who made the report, but in addition an active quest 
in the neighborhood where the sighting occurred to try to discover additional witnesses. Against such thoroughness must be balanced 
the consideration that the cost per case goes up proportionately to the number of persons in a team, so that the larger the team, the 
fewer the cases that can be studied. 

The detailed discussions in Section III, Chapter 1 and in Section IV make it clear that the field work is associated with many 
frustrations. Many of the trips turn out to be wild goose chases and the team members often feel as if they are members of a fire 
department that mostly answers false alarms. 

We found that it was always worthwhile to do a great deal of initial interviewing by long distance telephone. A great many reports that 
seem at first to be worthy of full field investigation could be disposed of in this way with comparatively little trouble and expense. Each 
case presented its own special problems. No hard-and-fast rule was found by which to decide in advance whether a particular report 
was worth the trouble of a field trip. 

After careful consideration of these various factors, we decided to operate with two-man teams, composed whenever possible of one 
person with training in physical science and one with training in psychology. When the study became fully operational in 1967 we had 
three such teams. Dr. Roy Craig describes the work of these teams in Section III, Chapters 1 , 3, and 4. Reports of field investigations 
are presented in Section IV. 

BACK TO TOP 

7. Explaining UFO Reports 

By definition UFOs exist because UFO reports exist. What makes the whole subject intriguing is the possibility that some of these 
reports cannot be reconciled with ordinary explanations, so that some 

I 



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extraordinarily sensational explanation for them might have to be invoked. A fuller discussion of some misinterpretations of ordinary 
events by Dr. W. K. Hartmann is given in Section VI, Chapter 2. 

A great many reports are readily identified with ordinary phenomena seen under unusual circumstances, or noted by someone who is 
an inexperienced, inept, or unduly excited observer. Because such reports are vague and inaccurate, it is often impossible to make an 
identification with certainty. 

This gives rise to controversy. In some cases, an identification that the UFO was "probably" an aircraft is all than can be made from 
the available data. After the event no amount of further interviewing of one or more witnesses can usually change such a probable into 
a certain identification. Field workers who would like to identify as many as possible are naturally disposed to claim certainty when this 
is at all possible, but others who desire to have a residue of unexplained cases in order to add mystery and importance to the UFO 
problem incline to set impossibly high standards of certainty in the evidence before they are willing to accept a simple explanation for 
a report. 

This dilemma is nicely illustrated by a question asked in the House of Commons of Prime Minister Harold Wilson, as reported in 
Hansard ^o^^9 December 1967: 

Unidentified Flying Objects. Question 14. Sir J. Langford-Holt asked the Prime Minister whether he is satisfied that all 
sightings of unidentified flying objects which are reported from service sources are explainable, what inquiries he has 
authorized into these objects outside the defense aspect, and whether he will now appoint one Minister to look into all 
aspects of reports. 

The Prime Minister: The answers are 'Yes, except when the information given is insufficient,' 'None' and 'No.' 

Obviously there is a nice bit of semantics here in that the definition of "when the information is sufficient" is that it is sufficient when an 
explanation can be given. 

[[25]] 



Discussions of whether a marginal case should he regarded for statistical purposes as having been explained or not have proved to 
be futile. Some investigators take the position that, where a plausible interpretation in terms of commonplace events can be made, 
then the UFO is regarded as having been identified. Others take the opposite view that an UFO cannot be regarded as having been 
given an ordinary identification unless there is complete and binding evidence amounting to certainty about the proposed 
identification. 

For example, in January 1 968 near Castle Rock, Cob., some 30 persons reported UFOs, including spacecraft with flashing lights, 
fantastic maneuverability, and even with occupants presumed to be from outer space. Two days later it was more modestly reported 
that two high school boys had launched a polyethylene hot-air balloon. 

Locally that was the end of the story. But there is a sequel. A man in Florida makes a practice of collecting newspaper stories about 
UFOs and sending them out in a mimeographed UFO news letter which he mails to various UFO journals and local clubs. He gave 
currency to the Castle Rock reports but not to the explanation that followed. When he was chided for not having done so, he declared 
that no one could be absolutely sure that all the Castle Rock reports arose from sightings of the balloon. There might also have been 
an UFO from outer space among the sightings. No one would dispute his logic, but one may with propriety wonder why he neglected 
to tell his readers that at least some of the reports were actually misidentifications of a hot-air balloon. 

As a practical matter, we take the position that if an UFO report can be plausibly explained in ordinary terms, then we accept that 
explanation even though not enough evidence may be available to prove it beyond all doubt. This point is so important that perhaps an 
analogy is needed to make it clear. Several centuries ago, the most generally accepted theory of human disease was that it was 
caused by the patient's being possessed or inhabited by a devil or evil spirit. Different 

[[26]] 



diseases were supposed to be caused by different devils. The guiding principle for medical research was then the study and 
classification of different kinds of devils, and progress in therapy was sought in the search for and discovery of means for exorcising 
each kind of devil. 

Gradually medical research discovered bacteria; toxins and viruses, and their causative relation to various diseases. More and more 
diseases came to be described by their causes. 

Suppose now that instead, medicine had clung to the devil theory of disease. As long as there exists one human illness that is not yet 
fully understood in modern terms such a theory cannot be disproved. It is always possible, while granting that some diseases are 
caused by viruses, etc. to maintain that those that are not yet understood are the ones that are really caused by devils. 

In some instances the same sort of UFO is observed night after night under similar circumstances. In our experience this has been a 
sure sign that the UFO could be correlated with some ordinary phenomenon. 



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For example, rather early in our work, a Colorado farmer reported seeing an UFO land west of his farm nearly every evening about 
6:00 p.m. A field team went to see him and quickly and unambiguously identified the UFO as the planet Saturn. The nights on which he 
did not see it land were those in which the western sky was cloudy. 



But the farmer did not easily accept our identification of his UFO as Saturn. He contended that, while his UFO had landed behind the 
mountains on the particular evening that we visited him, on most nights, he insisted, it landed infront of the mountains, and therefore 
could not be a planet. The identification with Saturn from the ephemeris was so precise that we did not visit his farm night after night in 
order to see for ourselves whether his UFO ever landed infront of the mountains. We did not regard it as partof our dutyto persuade 
observers of the correctness of our interpretations. In most cases observers readily accepted our explanation, and some expressed 
relief at having 

[[27]] 



an everyday explanation available to them. 

We sought to hold to a minimum delays in arriving at the site of an UFO report, even where it was clear that it was going to be 
impossible to get there in time actually to see the reported UFO. Once an observer made a report, the fact of his having done so 
usually becomes known to friends and neighbors, local newspapermen, and local UFO enthusiasts. The witness becomes the center 
of attention and will usually have told his story over and over again to such listeners, before the field team can arrive. With each telling 
of the story it is apt to be varied and embellished a little. This need not be from dishonest motives. We all like to tell an interesting 
story. We would rather not bore our listeners if we can help it, so embellishment is sometimes added to maximize the interest value of 
the narration. 

It is not easy to detect how a story has grown under retelling in this way. Listeners usually will have asked leading questions and the 
story will have developed in response to such suggestions, so that it soon becomes impossible for the field team to hear the witness's 
story as he told it the first time. In some cases when the witness had been interviewed in this way by local UFO enthusiasts, his story 
was larded with vivid language about visitors from outer space that was probably not there in the first telling. 

Another kind of difficulty arises in interviewing multiple associated witnesses, that is, witnesses who were together at the time that all 
of them saw the UFO. Whenever several individuals go through an exciting experience together, they are apt to spend a good deal of 
time discussing it aftenA/ard among themselves, telling and retelling it to each other, unconsciously ironing out discrepancies between 
their various recollections, and gradually converging on a single uniform account of the experience. Dominant personalities will have 
contributed more to the final version than the less dominant. Thus the story told by a group of associated witnesses who have had 
ample opportunity to "compare notes" will be more uniform than the accounts these individuals 

[[28]] 



would have given if interviewed separately before they had talked the matter over together. 

One of the earliest of our field trips (December 1966) was made to Washington, D. C. to interview separately two air traffic control 
operators who had been involved in the great UFO flap there in the summer of 1952. Fourteen years later, these two men were still 
quite annoyed at the newspaper publicity they had received, because it had tended to ridicule their reports. Our conclusion from this 
trip was that these men were telling in 1966 stories that were thoroughly consistent with the main points of their stories as told in 1952. 
Possibly this was due to the fact that because of their strong emotional involvement they had recounted the incident to many persons 
at many times over the intervening years. Although it was true that the stories had not changed appreciably in 14 years, it was also true 
for this very reason that we acquired no new material by interviewing these men again. (See Section III, Chapters). 

On the basis of this experience we decided that it was not profitable to devote much effort to re-interviewing persons who had already 
been interviewed rather thoroughly at a previous time. We do not say that nothing can be gained in this way, but merely that it did not 
seem to us that this would be a profitable way to spend our effort in this study. 

In our experience those who report UFOs are often very articulate, but not necessarily reliable. One evening in 1 967 a most articulate 
gentleman told us with calm good manners all of the circumstances of a number of UFOs he had seen that had come from outer 
space, and in particular went into some detail about how his wife's grandfather had immigrated to America from the Andromeda 
nebula, a galaxy located 2,000,000 light years from the earth. 

In a few cases study of old reports may give the investigator a clue to a possible interpretation that had not occurred to the original 
investigator. In such a case, a later interview of the witness may 

[[29]] 



elicit new information that was not brought out in the earlier interview. But we found that such interviews need to be conducted with 
great care as it is easily possible that the "new" information may have been generated through the unconscious use of leading 
questions pointing toward the new interpretation, and so may not be reliable for that reason. 

BACK TO TOP 

8. Sources of UFO Reports 



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Usually the first report of an UFO is made to a local police officer or to a local news reporter. In some cases, members of UFO study 
organizations are sufficiently well known in the community that reports are made directly to them. In spite of the very considerable 
publicity that has been given to this subject, a large part of the public still does not know of the official Air Force interest. 



Even some policemen and newsmen do not know of it and so do not pass on the UFO report. In other cases, we found that the anti-Air 
Force publicity efforts of some UFO enthusiasts had persuaded observers, who would othenA/ise have done so, not to report to the Air 
Force. We have already commented on the fact that for a variety of reasons many persons who do have UFO experiences do not 
report promptly. 

Ideally the entire public would have known that each Air Force base must, according to AFR80-17, have an UFO officer and would 
have reported promptly any extraordinary thing seen in the sky. Or, if this were too much to expect, then all police and news agencies 
would ideally have known of Air Force interest and would have passed information along to the nearest Air Force base. But none of 
these ideal things were true, and as a result our collection of UFO reports is extremely haphazard and incomplete. 

When a report is made to an Air Force base, it is handled by an UFO officer whose form of investigation and report is prescribed by 
APR 80-17 (Appendix A ). If the explanation of the report is immediately obvious and trivial ~ some persons will telephone a base to 
report a contrail from a high-flying jet that is particularly bright in the light of the setting sun ~ the UFO officer tells the person 

[[30]] 



what it was he saw, and there the matter ends. No permanent record of such calls is made. As a result there is no record of the total 
number of UFO reports made to AF bases. Only those that require more than cursory consideration are reported to Project Blue 
Book. Air Force officers are human, and therefore interpret their duty quite differently. Some went to great lengths not to submit a 
report. Others took special delight in reporting all of the "easy" ones out of a zealous loyalty to their service, because the more 
"identifieds" they turned in, the higher would be the over-all percentage of UFO reports explained. When in June 1967 Air Force UFO 
officers from the various bases convened in Boulder some of them quite vigorously debated the relative merits of these two different 
extreme views of their duty. 

Many people have from time to time tried to learn something significant about UFOs by studying statistically the distribution of UFO 
reports geographically, in time, and both factors together. In our opinion these efforts have proved to be quite fruitless. The difficulties 
are discussed in Section VI, Chapter 10. 

The geographical distribution of reports correlates roughly with population density of the non-urban population. Very few reports come 
from the densely-populated urban areas. Whether this is due to urban sophistication or to the scattering of city lights is not known, but 
it is more probably the latter. 

There apparently exists no single complete collection of UFO reports. The largest file is that maintained by Project Blue Book at 
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Other files are maintained by APRO in Tucson and NICAP in Washington. The files of Project 
Blue Book are arranged by date and place of occurrence of the report, so that one must know these data in order to find a particular 
case. Proposals have been made from time to time for a computer-indexing of these reports by various categories but this has not 
been carried out. Two publications are available which partially supply this lack: one is The UFO Evidence (Hal 1 , 1964) and the 
other is a collection of reports called 

[[31]] 



The Reference for Outstanding UFO Reports (Olsen, ) . (NCAS editors note: No date provided for the Olsen document). 

We have already mentioned the existence of flaps, that is, the tendency of reports to come in clusters at certain times in certain areas. 
No quantitative study of this is available, but we believe that the clustering tendency is partly due to changing amounts of attention 
devoted to the subject by the news media. Publicity for some reports stimulates more reports, both because people pay more 
attention to the sky at such a time, and because they are more likely to make a report of something which attracts their attention. 

In the summer of 1 967 there was a large UFO flap in the neighborhood of Harrisburg, Pa. This may have been in part produced by the 
efforts of a local NICAP member working in close association with a reporter for the local afternoon newspaper who wrote an exciting 
UFO story for his paper almost daily. Curiously enough, the morning paperscarcely ever had an UFO story from which we conclude 
that one editor's news is anothers filler. We stationed one of our investigators there during August with results that are described in 
Case 27. 

Many UFO reports were made by the public to Olmsted Air Force Base a few miles south of Harrisburg, but when this base was 
deactivated during the summer UFO reports had to be made to McGuire Air Force Base near Trenton, N. J. This required a toll call, 
and the frequency of receipt of UFO reports from the Harrisburg area dropped abruptly. 

For all of these various reasons, we feel that the fluctuations geographically and in time of UFO reports are so greatly influenced by 
sociological factors, that any variations due to changes in underlying physical phenomena are completely masked. 

In sensational UFO journalism the statement is often made that UFOs show a marked tendency to be seen more often near military 
installations. There is no statistically significant evidence that this is true. For sensational writers, this alleged but unproven 
concentration of UFO sightings is taken as evidence that extra-terrestrial visitors are reconnoitering our military defenses, preparatory 
to launching a 



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military attack at some time in tlie future. Even if a sliglit effect of this kind were to be establislied by careful statistical studies, we feel 
that it could be easily accounted for by the fact that at every base men stand all night guard duty and so unusual things in the sky are 
more likely to be seen. Moreover civilians living near a military base are more likely to make a report to the base than those living at 
some distance from it. 

AFR 80-1 7a directed UFO officers at each base to send to the Colorado project a duplicate of each report sent to Project Blue Book. 
This enabled us to keep track of the quality of the investigations and to be informed about puzzling uninterpreted cases. Such 
reporting was useful in cases whose study extended over a long period, but the slowness of receipt of such reports made this 
arrangement not completely satisfactory as a source of reports on the basis of which to direct the activity of our own field teams. A few 
reports that seemed quite interesting to Air Force personnel caused them to notify us by teletype or telephone. Some of our field 
studies arose from reports received in this way. 

To supplement Air Force reporting, we set up our own Early Warning Network, a group of about 60 active volunteer field reporters, 
most of whom were connected with APRO or NICAP. They telephoned or telegraphed to us intelligence of UFO sightings in their own 
territory and conducted some preliminary investigation for us while our team was en route. Some of this cooperation was quite 
valuable. In the spring of 1968, Donald Keyhoe, director of NICAP, ordered discontinuation of this arrangement, but many NICAP field 
teams continued to cooperate. 

All of these sources provided many more quickly reported, fresh cases than our field teams could study in detail. In consequence we 
had to develop criteria for quickly selecting which of the cases reported to us would be handled with a field trip (See Section III, 
Chapter 1 ). 

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BACK TO TOP 

9. Extra-terrestrial Hypothesis 

The idea that some UFOs may be spacecraft sent to Earth from another civilization, residing on another planet of the solar system, or 
on a planet associated with a more distant star than the Sun, is called the Extra-terrestrial Hypothesis (ETH). Some few persons 
profess to hold a stronger level of belief in the actuality of UFOs being visitors from outer space, controlled by intelligent beings, rather 
than merely of the possibility, not yet fully established as an observational fact. We shall call this level of belief ETA, for extraterrestrial 
actuality. 

It is often difficult to be sure just what level of belief is held by various persons, because of the vagueness with which they state their 
ideas. 

For example, addressing the American Society of Newspaper Editors in Washington on 22 April 1967, Dr. McDonald declared: 
"There is, in my present opinion, no sensible alternative to the utterly shocking hypothesis that the UFOs are extraterrestrial probes 
from somewhere else." Then in an Australian broadcast on 20 August 1967 McDonald said: "... you find yourself ending up with the 
seemingly absurd, seemingly improbable hypothesis that these things may come from somewhere else." 

A number of other scientists have also expressed themselves as believers in ETH, if not ETA, but usually in more cautious terms. 

The general idea of space travel by humans from Earth and visitors to Earth from other civilizations is an old one and has been the 
subject of many works of fiction. In the past 250 years the topic has been widely developed in science fiction. A fascinating account of 
the development of this literary form is given in Pilgrims through Space and Time - Trends and Patterns in Scientific and Utopian 
Fiction (Bailey, 1947) 

The first published suggestion that some UFOs are visitors from other civilizations is contained in an article in True, entitled "Flying 
Saucers are Real" by Donald E. Keyhoe (1950). 

[[34]] 



Direct, convincing and unequivocal evidence of the truth of ETA would be the greatest single scientific discovery in the history of 
mankind. Going beyond its interest for science, it would undoubtedly have consequences of surpassing significance for every phase 
of human life. Some persons who have written speculatively on this subject, profess to believe that the supposed extraterrestrial 
visitors come with beneficent motives, to help humanity clean up the terrible mess that it has made. Others say they believe that the 
visitors are hostile. Whether their coming would be favorable or unfavorable to mankind, it is almost certain that they would make great 
changes in the conditions of human existence. 

It is characteristic of most reports of actual visitors from outer space that there is no corroborating witness to the alleged incident, so 
that the story must be accepted, if at all, solely on the basis of belief in the veracity of the one person who claims to have had the 
experience. In the cases which we studied, there was only one in which the observer claimed to have had contact with a visitor from 
outer space. On the basis of our experience with that one, and our own unwillingness to believe the literal truth of the Villas-Boas 
incident, or the one from Truckee, Calif, reported by Prof. James Harder (see Section V, Chapter 2), we found that no direct evidence 



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whatever of a convincing nature now exists for the claim that any UFOs represent spacecraft visiting Earth from another civilization. 



Some persons are temperamentally ready, even eager, to accept ETA without clear observational evidence. One lady remarked, "It 
would be so wonderfully exciting if it were true!" It certainly would be exciting, but that does not make it true. When confronted with a 
proposition of such great import, responsible scientists adopt a cautiously critical attitude toward whatever evidence is adduced to 
support it. Persons without scientific training, often confuse this with basic Opposition to the idea, with a biased desire or hope, or 
even of willingness to distort the evidence in order to conclude that ETA is not 

[[35]] 



true. 

The scientists' caution in such a situation does not represent opposition to the idea. It represents a determination not to accept the 
proposition as true in the absence of evidence that clearly, unambiguously and with certainty establishes its truth or falsity. 

Scientifically it is not necessary - it is not even desirable - to adopt a position about the truth or falsity of ETA in order to investigate 
the question. There is a widespread misconception that scientific inquiry represents some kind of debate in which the truth is 
adjudged to be on the side of the team that has scored the most points. Scientists investigate an undecided proposition by seeking to 
find ways to get decisive observational material. Sometimes the ways to get such data are difficult to conceive, difficult to carry out, 
and so indirect that the rest of the scientific world remains uncertain of the probative value of the results for a long time. Progress in 
science can be painfully slow - at other times it can be sudden and dramatic. The question of ETA would be settled in a few minutes if 
a flying saucer were to land on the lawn of a hotel where a convention of the American Physical Society was in progress, and its 
occupants were to emerge and present a special paper to the assembled physicists, revealing where they came from, and the 
technology of how their craft operates. Searching questions from the audience would follow. 

In saying that thus far no convincing evidence exists for the truth of ETA, no prediction is made about the future. If evidence appears 
soon after this report is published, that will not alter the truth of the statement that we do not nowhave such evidence. If new evidence 
appears later, this report can be appropriately revised in a second printing. 

BACK TO TOP 

10. Intelligent Life Elsewhere 

Whether there is intelligent life elsewhere (ILE) in the Universe is a question that has received a great deal of serious speculative 
attention in recent years. A good popular review of thinking on the 

[[36]] 



subject is We Are Not Alone by Walter Sullivan (1 964). More advanced discussions are Interstellar Communications, a collection of 
papers edited by A. G. W. Cameron (1963), and Intelligent Life in the Universe (Shklovskii and Sagan, 1966). Thus far we have no 
observational evidence whatever on the question, so therefore it remains open. An early unpublished discussion is a letter of 13 
December 1948 of J. E. Lipp to Gen. Donald Putt (Appendix D ). This letter is Appendix D of the Project Sign report dated February 
1949 from Air Materiel Command Headquarters No. F-TR-2274-IA. 

The ILE question has some relation to the ETH or ETA for UFOs as discussed in the preceding section. Clearly, if ETH is true, then 
ILE must also be true because some UFOs have then to come from some unearthly civilization. Conversely, if we could know 
conclusively that ILE does not exist, then ETH could not be true. But even if ILE exists, it does not follow that the ETH is true. 

For it could be that the ILE , though existent, might not have reached a stage of development in which the beings have the technical 
capacity or the desire to visit the Earth's surface. Much speculative writing assumes implicitly that intelligent life progresses steadily 
both in intellectual and in its technological development. Life began on Earth more than a billion years ago, whereas the known 
geological age of the Earth is some five billion years, so that life in any form has only existed for the most recent one-fifth of the Earths 
life as a solid ball orbiting the Sun. Man as an intelligent being has only lived on Earth for some 5,000 years, or about one-millionth of 
the Earth's age. Technological development is even more recent. Moreover the greater part of what we think of as advanced 
technology has only been developed in the last 100 years. Even today we do not yet have a technology capable of putting men on 
other planets of the solar system. Travel of men over interstellar distances in the foreseeable future seems now to be quite out of the 
question. (Purcell, 1960; Markowitz, 1967). 

[[37]] 



The dimensions of the universe are hard for the mind of man to conceive. A light-year is the distance light travels in one year of 31.56 
million seconds, at the rate of 186,000 miles per second, that is, a distance of 5.88 million million miles. The nearest known star is at a 
distance of 4.2 light-years. 

Fifteen stars are known to be within 1 1 .5 light-years of the Sun. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is a vast flattened distribution of some 
10^^ stars about 80,000 light-years in diameter, with the Sun located about 26,000 light-years from the center. To gain a little 
perspective on the meaning of such distances relative to human affairs, we may observe that the news of Christ's life on Earth could 
not yet have reached as much as a tenth of the distance from the Earth to the center of our galaxy. 



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Other galaxies are inconceivably remote. The faintest observable galaxies are at a distance of some two billion light-years. There are 
some 100 million such galaxies within that distance, the average distance between galaxies being some eight million light-years. 



Authors of UFO fantasy literature casually set all of the laws of physics aside in order to try to evade this conclusion, but serious 
consideration of their ideas hardly belongs in a report on the scientific study of UFOs. 

Even assuming that difficulties of this sort could be overcome, we have no right to assume that in life communities everywhere there is 
a steady evolution in the directions of both greater intelligence arid greater technological competence. Human beings now know 
enough to destroy all life on Earth, and they may lack the intelligence to work out social controls to keep themselves from doing so. If 
other civilizations have the same limitation then it might be that they develop to the point where they destroy themselves utterly before 
they have developed the technology needed to enable them to make long space voyages. 

Another possibility is that the growth of intelligence precedes 

[[38]] 



the growth of technology in such a way that by the time a society would be technically capable of interstellar space travel, it would have 
reached a level of intelligence at which it had not the slightest interest in interstellar travel. We must not assume that we are capable of 
imagining now the scope and extent of future technological development of our own or any other civilization, and so we must guard 
against assuming that we have any capacity to imagine what a more advanced society would regard as intelligent conduct. 

In addition to the great distances involved, and the difficulties which they present to interstellar space travel, there is still another 
problem: If we assume that civilizations annihilate themselves in such a way that their effective intelligent life span is less than, say, 
100,000 years, then such a short time span also works against the likelihood of successful interstellar communication. The different 
civilizations would probably reach the culmination of their development at different epochs in cosmic history. Moreover, according to 
present views, stars are being formed constantly by the condensation of interstellar dust and gases. They exist for perhaps 10 billion 
years, of which a civilization lasting 100,000 years is only 1/100,000 of the life span of the star. It follows that there is an extremely 
small likelihood that two nearby civilizations would be in a state of high development at the same epoch. 

Astronomers now generally agree that a fairly large number of all main-sequence stars are probably accompanied by planets at the 
right distance from their Sun to provide for habitable conditions for life as we know it. That is, where stars are, there are probably 
habitable planets. This belief favors the pos~-possibility of interstellar communication, but it must be remembered that even this view 
is entirely Speculation: we are quite unable directly to observe any planets associated with stars other than the Sun. 

In view of the foregoing, we consider that it is safe to assume that no ILE outside of our solar system has my possibility of visiting 

[[39]] 



Earth in the next 10,000 years. 

This conclusion does not rule out the possibility of the existence of ILE, as contrasted with the ability of such civilizations to visit Earth. 
It is estimated that 10^^ stars can be seen using the 200-inch Hale telescope on Mount Palomar. Astronomers surmise that possibly 
as few as one in a million or as many as one in ten of these have a planet in which physical and chemical conditions are such as to 
make them habitable by life based on the same kind of biochemistry as the life we know on Earth. Even if the lower figure is taken, this 
would mean there are 10^^ stars in the visible universe which have planets suitable for an abode of life. In our own galaxy there are 
10^^ stars, so perhaps as many as 10^ have habitable planets in orbit around them. 

Biologists feel confident that wherever physical and chemical conditions are right, life will actually emerge. In short, astronomers tell us 
that there are a vast number of stars in the universe accompanied by planets where the physical and chemical conditions are suitable, 
and biologists tell us that habitable places are sure to become inhabited. (Rush, 1957). 

An important advance was made when Stanley L. Miller (1955) showed experimentally that electrical discharges such as those in 
natural lightning when passed through a mixture of methane and ammonia, such as may have been present in the Earth's primitive 
atmosphere, will initiate chemical reactions which yield various amino acids. These are the raw materials from which are constructed 
the proteins that are essential to life. Millers work has been followed up and extended by many others, particularly P. H. Abelson of the 
Carnegie Institution of Washington. 

The story is by no means fully worked out. The evidence in hand seems to convince biochemists that natural processes, such as 
lightning, or the absorption of solar ultraviolet light, could generate the necessary starting materials from which life could evolve. On 
this basis they generally hold the belief that where conditions make it possible 

[[40]] 



that life could appear, there life actually will appear. 

It is regarded by scientists today as essentially certain that ILE exists, but with essentially no possibility of contact between the 
communities on planets associated with different stars. We therefore conclude that there is no relation between ILE at other solar 
systems and the UFO phenomenon as observed on Earth. 



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1 



There remains the question of ILE within our solar system. Here only the planets Venus and Mars need be given consideration as 
possible abodes of life. 



Mercury, the planet nearest the Sun, is certainly too hot to support life. The side of Mercury that is turned toward the Sun* has an 
average temperature of 660°F. Since the orbit is rather eccentric this temperature becomes as high as 770°F, hot enough to melt 
lead, when Mercury is closest to the Sun. The opposite side is extremely cold, its temperature not being known. Gravity on Mercury is 
about one-fourth that on Earth. This fact combined with the high temperature makes it certain that Mercury has no atmosphere, which 
is consistent with observational data on this point. It is quite impossible that life as found on Earth could exist on Mercury. 

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are so far from the Sun that they are too cold for life to exist there. 

Although it has long been thought that Venus might provide a suitable abode for life, it is now known that the surface of Venus is also 
too hot for advanced forms of life, although it is possible that some primitive forms may exist. Some uncertainty and controversy exists 
about the interpretation of observations of Venus because the planet is always enveloped in dense clouds so that the solid surface is 
never seen. The absorption spectrum of sunlight coming from Venus indicates that the principal constituent of the atmosphere is 
carbon dioxide. There is no evidence of oxygen or water vapor. With so little oxygen in the atmosphere there could not be animal life 
there resembling that on Earth. 

* Mercury rotates in 59 days and the orbital period is 88 days, so there is a slow relative motion. 

[[41]] 



Although it is safe to conclude that there is no intelligent life on Venus, the contrary idea is held quite tenaciously by certain groups in 
America. There are small religious groups who maintain that Jesus Christ now sojourns on Venus, and that some of their members 
have traveled there by flying saucers supplied by the Venusians and have been greatly refreshed spiritually by visiting Him. There is no 
observational evidence in support of this teaching. 

In the fantasy literature of believers in ETH, some attention is given to a purely hypothetical planet named Clarion. Not only is there no 
direct evidence for its existence, but there is conclusive indirect evidence for its non-existence. Those UFO writers who try not to be 
totally inconsistent with scientific findings, recognizing that Venus and Mars are unsuitable as abodes of life, have invented Clarion to 
meet the need for a home for the visitors who they believe come on some UFOs. 

They postulate that Clarion moves in an orbit exactly like that of the Earth around the Sun, but with the orbit rotated through half a 
revolution in its plane so that the two orbits have the same line of apsides, but with Clarion's perihelion in the same direction from the 
Sun as the Earths aphelion. The two planets. Earth and Clarion, are postulated to move in their orbits in such a way that they are 
always opposite each other, so that the line Earth-Sun-Clarion is a straight line. Thus persons on Earth would never see Clarion 
because it is permanently eclipsed by the Sun. 

If the two orbits were exactly circular, the two planets would move along their common orbit at the same speed and so would remain 
exactly opposite each other. But even if the orbits are elliptical, so that the speed in the orbit is variable, the two planets would vary in 
speed during the year in just such a way as always to remain Opposite each other and thus continue to be permanently eclipsed. 

However, this tidy arrangement would not occur in actuality because the motion of each of these two planets would be perturbed by the 
gravitational attractions between them and the other planets of the 

[[42]] 



solar system, principally Venus and Mars. It is a quite complicated and difficult problem to calculate the way in which these 
perturbations would affect the motion of Earth and Clarion. 

At the request of the Colorado project. Dr. R. L. Duncombe, director of the Nautical Almanac office at U.S. Naval Observatory in 
Washington, D. C, kindly arranged to calculate the effect of the introduction of the hypothetical planet Clarion into the solar system. 
The exact result depends to some extent on the location of the Earth-Sun-Clarion line relative to the line of apsides and the 
computations were carried out merely for one case (see Appendix E). 

These calculations show that the effect of the perturbations would be to make Clarion become visible from Earth beyond the Sun's 
limb after about thirty years. In other words. Clarion would long since have become visible from Earth if many years ago it were started 
out in such a special way as has been postulated. 

The computations revealed further that if Clarion were there it would reveal its presence indirectly in a much shorter time. Its attraction 
on Venus would cause Venus to move in a different way than if Clarion were not there. Calculation shows that Venus would pull away 
from its othenA/ise correct motion by about 1 second of arc in about three months time. Venus is routinely kept under observation to 
this accuracy, and therefore if Clarion were there it would reveal its presence by its effect on the motion of Venus. No such effect is 
observed, that is, the motion of Venus as actually observed is accurately in accord with the absence of Clarion, so therefore we may 
safely conclude that Clarion is nonexistent*. 

In his letter of transmittal Dr. Duncombe comments "I feel this is definite proof that the presence of such a body could not remain 
undetected for long. However, I am afraid it will not change the minds of those people who believe in the existence of Clarion. 

We first heard about Clarion from a lady who is prominent in American political life who was intrigued with the idea that this is 



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* These calculations assume Clarion's mass roughly equal to that of the Earth. 

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1 



where UFOS come from. When the results of the Naval Observatory computations were told to her she exclaimed, "That's what I don't 
like about computers! They are always dealing death blows to our fondest notions." 

[So we need consider Clarion no further.] 

NCA S EDITORS ' NOTE: The errata sheet specifies that this remark about Clarion be removed. Since the statement is not a 
genuine error m have left it in. It ms deleted from the Bantam edition of the report. 

Mars has long been considered as a possible abode of life in the solar system. There is still no direct evidence that life exists there, 
but the question is being actively studied in the space research programs of both the United States and Soviet Russia, so it may well 
be clarified within the coming decade. 

At present all indications are that Mars could not be the habitation of an advanced civilization capable of sending spacecraft to visit 
the Earth. Conditions for life there are so harsh that it is generally believed that at best Mars could only support the simpler forms of 
plant life. 

An excellent recent survey of the rapidly increasing knowledge of Mars is Handbook of the Physical Properties of the Planet Mars 
compiled byC. M. Michaux(NASA publication SP-3030, 1967). A brief discussion of American research programs for study of life on 
Mars is given in Biology and Exploration of Mars, a 19-page pamphlet prepared by the Space Science Board of the National 
Academy of Sciences, published in April 1965. 

The orbit of Mars is considerably more eccentric than that of the Earth. Consequently the distance of Mars from the Sun varies from 
128 to 155 million miles during the year of 687 days. The synodic period, or meantime between successive oppositions, is 800 days. 

The most favorable time for observation of Mars is at opposition, when Mars is opposite the Sun from Earth. These distances of 
closest approach of Mars and Earth vary from 35 to 60 million miles. The most recent favorable time of closest approach was the 
opposition of 1 0 September 1 956, and the next favorable opposition will be that of 1 0 August 1 971 . At that time undoubtedly great 
efforts will be made to study Mars in the space programs of the U.S.S.R and the United States. 

[[44]] 



Some of the UFO literature has contended that a larger than usual number of UFO reports occur at the times of Martian oppositions. 
The contention is that this indicates that some UFOs come from Mars at these particularly favorable times. The claimed correlation is 
quite unfounded; the idea is not supported by observational data. (Vallee and Vallee, 1966, p. 138). 

Mars is much smaller than Earth, having a diameter of 4,200 miles, in comparison with 8,000 miles. Mars' mass is about one-tenth the 
Earths, and gravity at Mars surface is about 0.38 that of Earth. The Martian escape velocity is 3.1 mile/sec. 

At the favorable opposition of 1877, C. V. Schiaparelli, an Italian astronomer, observed and mapped some surface markings on Mars 
which he called "canali," meaning "channels" in Italian. The word was mistranslated as "canals" in English and the idea was put 
foHA/ard, particularly vigorously by Percival Lowell, founder of the Lowell Observatory of Flagstaff, Arizona, that the canals on Mars 
were evidence of a gigantic planetary irrigation scheme, developed by the supposed inhabitants of Mars (Lowell, 1908). These 
markings have been the subject of a great deal of study since their discovery. Astronomers generally now reject the idea that they 
afford any kind of indication that Mars is inhabited by intelligent beings. 

Mars has two moons named Phobos and Deimos. These are exceedingly small, Phobos being estimated at ten miles in diameter 
and Deimos at five miles, based on their brightness, assuming the reflecting power of their material to be the same as that of the 
planet. The periods are 7*^39'^ for Phobos and 30*^1 8"^ for Deimos. They were discovered in August 1877 by Asaph Hall using the 
then new 26-inch refractor of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington. An unsuccessful search for moons of Mars was made with a 
48-inch mirror during the opposition of 1862. 

I. S. Shklovskii (1959) published a sensational suggestion in a Moscow newspaper that these moons were really artificial satellites 
which had been put up by supposed inhabitants of Mars as a place of 

[[45]] 



refuge when the supposed oceans of several million years ago began to dry up (Sullivan, 1966, p. 169). There is no observational 
evidence to support this idea. Continuing the same line of speculation Salisbury (1962), after pointing out that the satellites were 
looked for in 1862 but not found until 1877, then asks, "Should we attribute the failure of 1862 to imperfections in existing telescopes, 
or may we imagine that the satellites were launched between 1862 and 1877?" This is a slender reed indeed with which to prop up so 
sensational an inference, and we reject it. 

BACK TO TOP 



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Most UFO reports refer to things seen by an observer. Seeing is a complicated process. It involves the emission or scattering of light 
by the thing seen, the propagation of that light through the atmosphere to the eye of the observer, the formation of an image on the 
retina of the eye by the lens of the eye, the generation there of a stimulus in the optic nerve, and the perceptual process in the brain 
which enables the mind to make judgments about the nature of the thing seen. 

Under ordinary circumstances all of these steps are in fairly good working order with the result that our eyes give reasonably accurate 
information about the objects in their field of view. However, each step in the process is capable of malfunctioning, often in 
unsuspected ways. It is therefore essential to understand these physical and psychological processes in order to be able to interpret 
all things seen, including those reported as UFOs. 

The study of propagation of light through the atmosphere is included in atmospheric optics or meteorological optics. Although a great 
deal is known about the physical principles involved, in practice it is usually difficult to make specific statements about an UFO report 
because not enough has been observed and recorded about the condition of the atmosphere at the time and place named in the 
report. 

Application of the knowledge of atmospheric optics to the interpretation of UFO reports has been especially stressed by Menzel 
(1952); 

[[46]] 



(Menzel and Boyd, 1963). A valuable treatise on atmospheric effects on seeing is Middleton's Vision tlirougli tine Atmospliere 
(1952). A survey of the literature of atmospheric optics with emphasis on topics relevant to understanding UFO reports was prepared 
for the Colorado project by Dr. William Viezee of the Stanford Research Institute (Section VI, Chapter 4). 

Coming to the observer himself, Menzel stressed in consulting visits to the Colorado project that more ought to be known about 
defects of vision of the observer. He urged careful interviews to determine the observers defects of vision, how well they are corrected, 
and whether spectacles were being worn at the time the UFO sighting was made. Besides the defects of vision that can be corrected 
by spectacles, inquiry ought to be made where relevant into the degree of color blindness of the observer, since this visual defect is 
more common than is generally appreciated. 

Problems connected with the psychology of perception were studied for the Colorado project by Prof. Michael Wertheimer of the 
Department of Psychology of the University of Colorado. He prepared an elementary presentation of the main points of interest for the 
use of the project staff (Section VI, Chapter 1 ). 

Perhaps the commonest difficulty is the lack of appreciation of size-distance relations in the description of an unknown object. When 
we see an airplane in the sky, especially if it is one of a particular model with which we are familiar, we know from prior experience 
approximately what its size really is. Then from its apparent size as we see it, we have some basis for estimating its distance. 
Conversely, when we know something about the distance of an unknown object, we can say something about its size. Although not 
usually expressed this way, what is really "seen" is the size of the image on the retina of the eye, which may be produced by a smaller 
object that is nearer or a larger object that is farther away. Despite this elementary fact, many people persist in saying that the full 
moon looks the same size as 

[[47]] 



a quarter or as a washtub. The statement means nothing. Statements such as that an object looks to be of the same size as a coin 
held at arm's length do, however, convey some meaningful information. 

Another limitation of normal vision that is often not appreciated is the color blindness of the dark-adapted eye. The human eye really 
has two different mechanisms in the retina for the conversion of light energy into nerve stimulus. Photopic vision is the kind that applies 
in the daytime or at moderate levels of artificial illumination. It involves the cones of the retina, and is involved in color vision. Scotopic 
vision is the kind that comes into play at low levels of illumination. It involves the rods of the retina which are unable to distinguish 
colors, hence the saying that in the dark all cats are gray. The transition from photopic to scotopic vision normally takes place at about 
the level of illumination that corresponds to the light of the full moon high in the sky. When one goes from a brightly lighted area into a 
dark room he is blind at first but gradually dark adaptation occurs and a transition is made from photopic to scotopic vision. The ability 
to see, but without color discrimination, then returns. Nyctalopia is the name of a deficiencyof vision whereby dark adaptation does 
not occur and is often connected with a Vitamin A dietary deficiency. 

If one stares directly at a bright light which is then turned off, an afterimage will be seen; that is, the image of the light, but less bright 
and usually out of focus, continues to be seen and gradually fades away. Positive afterimages are those in which the image looks 
bright like the original stimulus, but this may reverse to a negative afterimage which looks darker than the surrounding field of view. 
Afterimages have undoubtedly given rise to some UFO reports. 

The afterimage is the result of a temporary change in the retina and so remains at a fixed point on the retina. When one then moves 
his eyes to look in a different direction, the afterimage seems to move relative to the surroundings. If it is believed by the observer to 
be 

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a real object it will seem to him to have moved at an enormous velocity. A light going out will seem to shrink and move away from the 
observer as it does so. If one light goes on while another is going off, it may appear as if the light that is going off is moving to the 
place where the other light is going on. 

Autokinesis is another property of the eye which needs to be understood by persons who are interested in looking for UFOs. A bright 
light in a field of view which has no reference objects in it, such as a single star in a part of the sky which has very few other stars in it, 
will appear to move when stared at, even though it is in reality stationary. This effect has given rise to UFO reports in which observers 
were looking at a bright star and believed that it was rapidly moving, usually in an erratic way. 

BACK TO TOP 

12. Study of UFO photographs 

The popular UFO literature abounds with photographs of alleged strange objects in the sky, many of which are clearly in the form of 
flying saucers. Some of these have been published in magazines of wide circulation. The editors of Look, in collaboration with the 
editors of United Press International and Cowles Communications, Inc. published a Look "Special" in 1 967 that is entirely devoted to 
"Flying Saucers," which contains many examples of UFO pictures. 

Photographic evidence has a particularly strong appeal to many people. The Colorado study therefore undertook to look into the 
available photographs with great care. Chapter 2 of Section III gives the story of most of this work and Chapters of Section IV gives 
the detailed reports on individual cases. 

It is important to distinguish between photographic prints and the negatives from which they are made. There are many ways in which 
an image can be added to a print, for example, by double-printing from two negatives. Negatives, on the other hand, are somewhat 
more difficult to alter without leaving evidence of the fact. We therefore decided wherever possible to concentrate our study of 
photographic case upon the negatives. This was not, of course, possible in every instance 

[[49]] 



examined. 

A barber whose shop is inZanesville, Ohio, but whose home is in the suburb of Roseville, has made a widely publicized pair of UFO 
photographs. He did not attempt to exploit them in a big way. He merely exhibited them for local interest (and stimulation of his 
barbering business) in the window of his shop. There they remained for more than two months until they were discovered by a big city 
newspaperman from Columbus, Ohio, who arranged to sell them to the Associated Press. They were distributed in February 1967 
and have been often printed in various magazines after their original presentation in many newspapers. 

Early in the project we became acquainted with Everitt Merritt, photogrammetristonthe staff of the Autometrics Division of the 
Raytheon Company of Alexandria, Virginia. He undertook to do an analysis of the photographs. A pair of prints was supplied to Merritt 
byNICAP. 

Each of the pair shows the home of the photographer, a small bungalow, with a flying saucer flying over it. The flying saucer looks like 
it might be almost as large as the house in its horizontal dimension. The photographer says that he was leaving home with a camera 
when he chanced to look back and see the saucer flying over his home. He says he quickly snapped what we call picture A. Thinking 
the UFO was about to disappear behind a tree, he ran to the left about 30 feet, and snapped picture B, having spoiled one exposure 
in between. He estimated that there was less than a two minute interval between the two pictures, with A followed by B. 

Merritt studied the negatives themselves by quantitative photogrammetric methods, and also did some surveying in the front yard of 
the Roseville home, as a check on the calculations based on the photographs. From a study of the shadows appearing in the picture, 
he could show conclusively that actually picture B was taken earlier than picture A, and that the time interval between the two pictures 
was more than an hour, rather than being less than two minutes as claimed. 

[[50]] 



The photographic evidence contained in the negatives themselves is therefore in disagreement with the story told by the man who 
took the pictures. Two letters written to him by the Colorado project requesting his clarification of the discrepancy remain unanswered. 

We made arrangements with Merritt for his services to be available for photogrammetric analysis of other cases. These methods 
require a pair of pictures showing substantially the same scene taken from two different camera locations. Unfortunately this condition 
is seldom met in UFO photographs. Only one other pair came to our attention which met this criterion. These were the much publicized 
pictures taken on 1 1 May 1950 near McMinnville, Ore. (Case 46). But in this case the UFO images turned out to be too fuzzy to allow 
worthwhile photogrammetric analysis. 

Other photographic studies were made for the Colorado project by Dr. William K. Hartmann, (Section III, Chapter 2). 

Hartmann made a detailed study of 35 photographic cases, (Section IV, Chapter 3) referring to the period 1966-68, and a selection of 
18 older cases, some of which have been widely acclaimed in the UFO literature. This photographic study led to the identification of a 
number of widely publicized photographs as being ordinary objects, others as fabrications, and others as innocent misidentifications 
of things photographed under unusual conditions. 



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On p. 43 of the /_oo/c Special on "Flying Saucers" there is a picture of an allegedly "claw-shaped" marking on the dry sand of a beach. 
Some of the dark colored moist sand making up the "claw mark" was shipped to Wright-Patterson AFB and analyzed. The liquid was 
found to be urine. Some person or animal had performed an act of micturition there. 

A report by Staff Sergeant Earl Schroeder which says "Being a native of this area and having spent a good share of my life hunting 
and fishing this area, I believe that the so-called 'monster' (if there 

[[51]] 



was such) could very well have been a large black bear." His report also notes that "during the week of July 26 the local TV stations 
showed a program called Lost in Space. In this program there were two monsters fitting their description controlled by a human 
being." 

Summarizing, the investigation report says, "There was food missing from the picnic table which leads to the belief that some animal 
was responsible for the black shape portion of the total sighting. There are numerous bears and raccoons in the area." 

Another photograph presented in the Loo/c Special is of a pentagonal image, though called hexagonal. Photographic images of this 
kind arise from a malfunctioning of the iris of the camera and are quite commonplace. It is hard to understand how the editors of a 
national illustrated magazine could be unfamiliar with this kind of camera defect. 

BACK TO TOP 

13. Direct and Indirect Physical Evidence 

A wide variety of physical effects of UFOs have been claimed in the UFO literature. The most direct physical evidence, of course, 
would be the actual discovery of a flying saucer, with or without occupants, living or dead. None were found. Claims which we studied 
as direct evidence are those of the finding of pieces of material which allegedly came from outer space because it is a product of a 
different technology, so it is said, than any known on earth. Another kind of direct evidence studied were allegations that disturbance 
of vegetation on the ground, or of the soil was due to an UFO having landed at the place in question. 

The claimed indirect physical evidence of the presence of an UFO is of the nature of effects produced at a distance by the UFO. 
Accounts of sounds, or the lack of sounds, associated with UFOs, even though reports of visual observation indicated speeds of the 
UFO far in excess of the velocity of sound were common. Whenever a terrestrial solid object travels through the atmosphere faster 
than the speed of sound, a sonic boom is generated. The argument has been advanced that the 

[[52]] 



absence of a sonic boom associated with UFOs moving faster than cutoff Mach (see Section VI, Chapter 6) is an indication of their 
being a productof a technology more advanced than our own because we do not know how to avoid the generation of sonic booms. 
Another category of indirect physical effects are those associated with claims that UFOs possess strong magnetic fields, vastly 
stronger than those that would be produced by the strongest magnets that we know how to make. 

There are many UFO reports in which it is claimed that an automobile's ignition failed and the motor stopped, and in some cases that 
the headlights failed also, and that after this happened, an UFO was seen nearby. Usually such reports are discussed on the 
supposition that this is an indication that the UFO had been the source of strong magnetic field. 

Reports of both direct and indirect physical evidence were studied by various staff members of the Colorado project, principally by Dr. 
Roy Craig, whose account of these studies is contained in Chapters 3 and 4 of Section III. 

These studies resulted mostly in lack of substantiation of the claims that have been made. Claims of terrestrial magnetic disturbances 
at various Antarctic bases were either unconfirmed or seemed to be closely related to a practical joke that was played on a base 
commander. 

During the period of field study of this project only one case of automobile engine malfunction came to our attention. There was some 
ground for skepticism about the report in that it was made by a diabetic patient who had been drinking and was returning home alone 
from a party at 3:00 a.m. 

Some laboratory tests showed that engine failure due to the action of an external magnetic field on the car's ignition coil would require 
fields in excess of 20,000 gauss, at the coil. Owing to the magnetic shielding action of the sheet steel in the car body, the strength of 
the field outside the car would have to be considerably greater than this. But magnetic fields of such intensity would alter the state of 

[[53]] 



magnetization of the car itself. 

The process of forming car bodies by cold-forming the sheet steel introduces some quasi-permanent magnetization into all car 
bodies. Since all of the bodies of a given make in a given year are usually made with the same molds on the same presses they are 
all magnetized in the same pattern. 



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In the case in question we found that the car body that had been subjected to the presence of the UFO was magnetized. The pattern of 
magnetization quite closely resembled that of a car of the same make and year that was found a thousand miles away in a used car lot 
in Boulder, Cob. From this we can infer that the car that was supposedly near the UFO, had not been subjected to a strong magnetic 
field, othenA/ise this would have permanently changed the state of magnetization of the body of the exposed car. 

In the area of direct physical evidence, probably the most interesting result of investigation was the analysis of a piece of metallic 
magnesium which was alleged to have come from an UFO that exploded over a stretch of tidal water at Ubatuba, Sao Paulo, Brazil in 
1957. This was one of several pieces of magnesium from the same source that had been sent to the society editor of a Rio de 
Janeiro newspaper at the time. 

Later one of the pieces was subjected to elaborate chemical analyses in government laboratories in Brazil. The results of the analysis 
are given in great detail in the first of the Lorenzen books (1962), the full account occupying some forty pages. The claimed result of 
these studies was that the laboratory work showed the metallic magnesium to be purer than any ever made by man on Earth. 
Therefore it could not have been a product of earthly technology, therefore it came from an extraterrestrial source. 

Mrs. Lorenzen kindly supplied one of the magnesium specimens to the Colorado project. We arranged to have it studied by the 
method of neutron activation analysis in a laboratory in Washington, D. C. The 

[[54]] 



result, which is presented in detail in Chapter 3 of Section III, was that the magnesium metal was found to be much less pure that the 
regular commercial metal produced in 1957 by the Dow Chemical Company at Midland, Michigan. Therefore it need not have come 
from an extraterrestrial source, leaving us with no basis for rational belief that it did. 

BACK TO TOP 

14. Radar Sightings of UFOs 

The public became generally aware of radar at the end of World War II when the story of its important use in that war was told, after 
having been kept secret for some 12 years. A good non-technical account of this development is given in R. M. Page, The Origin of 
Radar (^962). 

The word radar is an acronym for RA6\o Detection And /hanging. Basically, most radar systems operate in the following way. A 
transmitter sends out short pulses of electromagnetic energy at regular intervals. These are sent out through an antenna designed to 
radiate a narrow beam within a small angle of its main direction. This beam of pulses travels outward at the speed of light. If it 
encounters an obstacle, which may be a metallic object like an airplane, a rain storm, or a bird or a flock of birds, it is partially 
scattered in all directions from the obstacle. In particular a part of the beam is scattered back toward the transmitter. When it arrives 
back at the transmitter it is received and indicated or displayed in various ways, depending on the special purpose for which the 
system was designed. By the fact of there being a returned signal at all, the function of detection is accomplished. By the time delay 
involved between the transmission of the outgoing signal and the return of the back-scattered signal, the distance of the scattering 
object is inferred, thus accomplishing the function of ranging. 

To get a beam of sufficiently narrow distribution in angle as to enable inferring from what direction the scattered signal was returned, 
the antenna must have a diameter of the order often times the 

[[55]] 



wavelength of the radio waves which it uses. 

In the period since 1 945 the technology has had an enormous development so that nowadays there are elaborate networks of land 
and shipbased radar systems, as well as radar systems carried by most airplanes, which have become vitally necessary to the safe 
operation of civil and military aircraft. In addition to the use of radar in connection with navigation, it has become a valuable tool in 
meteorological work in that distant rain storms can be detected by radar. Also the trails of ionized air left by meteors can be detected 
and studied by radar, providing for the first time the means for observing meteors in the daytime. 

There are many popular misconceptions about radar. It is important at the outset to realize that the returned, radar signal does not 
give a a sharply focussed image or picture of the obstacle that has been detected. What one gets when it is displayed on a cathode- 
ray screen is simply a diffuse blob of light indicating that something is there, in the direction the antenna is pointed (with some 
exceptions) and at the distance indicated by the time delay between transmission and reception of the back-scattered pulse. Of 
course, a large airplane gives a more intense signal than a flock of small birds at the same range, and skilled operators learn to make 
valid inferences about the nature of the object detected from other things that they know about the general situation together with the 
magnitude of the returned signal. 

It is important also to recognize that the propagation of the outgoing and the back-scattered pulses is ordinarily assumed to be 
rectilinear and at the normal speed of light. But the actual propagation is affected by temperature and humidity difference in the air 
path along which the radio pulse travels. This can give rise to anomalous propagation that is analogous to but in detail not identical 
with the effects which give rise to mirages in the propagation of light through such an atmosphere. Usually the radar set operator does 
not know 

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enough about the actual atmospheric conditions to make allowance for effects of this kind and, if they happen to be pronounced, can 
be led to make erroneous decisions. Another point is that, although the antenna sends out most of its energy in a single narrow beam, 
small amounts of energy go out in several other directions, known as sidelobes, so that a large or a nearby object in the direction of a 
sidelobe can give rise to a received signal that is indistinguishable from a small or distant object in the direction of the main beam. 

The overall radar system is a rather complicated set of electronic equipment which can malfunction in various ways giving rise to 
internally generated signals which the operator will tend to regard as reflections made by outside obstacles which are in reality not 
there. 

Usually the returned radar signals are displayed on the screen of a cathode ray tube and observed visually by the operator. On this 
account, subjective judgments of the operator enter into the final determination of what is seen, how it is interpreted and how it is 
reported. The data obtained from radar systems are thus not as completely objective as is often assumed. In some few instances 
subjectiveness is somewhat reduced by the fact that the cathode ray screen is photographed, but even when this is done there is a 
subjective element introduced at the stage where a human observer has to interpret the photograph of the radar screen. 

Radar operators do report unidentified targets from time to time and so there exists a category of UFO cases in which the unidentified 
flying object was seen on a radar screen. In a few cases there is a close correlation between an unknown thing in the sky seen visually 
and something also displayed on radar. 

However in view of the many difficulties associated with unambiguous interpretation of all blobs of light on a radar screen it does not 
follow directly and easily that the radar reports support or "prove" that UFOs exist as moving vehicles scattering the radio pulses as 
would a metallic object. The Colorado project engaged the services of the 

[[57]] 



Stanford Research Institute to make a general study of the functioning of radar systems from the point of view of the relation of their 
indications to UFOs. The study which was carried out resulted in the production of Section VI Chapter 5, by Dr. Roy H. Blackmer, Jr. 
and his associated, R. J. Allen, R. T. S. Collis, C. Herold and R. I. Presnell. 

Studies of specific UFO radar reports and their interpretation are presented in Section III, Chapters by Gordon Thayer. Thayer is a 
radio propagation specialist on the staff of the Environmental Science Services Administration in Boulder. In his chapter, Thayer 
presents a detailed analysis of some 35 cases, some of which are visual, others radar, and some are both. Both optical and radar 
phenomena are treated together because of the similarity in the wave propagation problems involved. 

In his summary of results he says: "... there was no case where the meteorological data available tended to negate the anomalous 
propagation hypothesis. . ." However, Thayer points out that adequate meteorological data for a thorough interpretation is often 
lacking so that a great deal more observational material of this kind would be needed in order to deal with a larger proportion of all of 
the reported UFO radar cases. 

In view of the importance of radar to the safe operation of all aircraft, it is essential that further research be done leading to the more 
precise knowledge possible of anomalous propagation of radar signals. However, it is felt that this can best be done by a direct attack 
on the problem itself rather than by detailed field investigation of UFO cases. 

BACK TO TOP 

15. Visual Observation made by U.S. Astronauts 

The popular UFO literature makes occasional reference, to UFOs seen by the U.S. astronauts in the space program operated by the 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We do not know of similar reports by Soviet astronauts but they may well have seen 
similar things. 

In flights conducted between 12 April 1961 and 15 November 1966, 

[[58]] 



thirty U.S. and Russian astronauts spent a total of 2,503 hours in orbit. The Colorado project was fortunate in that Dr. Franklin Roach, 
one of the principal investigators, has worked closely with the astronaut program in connection with their visual observations and so 
was already quite familiar with what they had seen and also was able to conduct further interviews with several of them on the basis of 
close personal acquaintances already established. 

Roach presents a detailed account of what they saw as related to the UFO question in Section III, Chapter 6. Nothing was seen that 
could be construed as a "flying saucer" or manned vehicle from outer space. Some things were seen that were identified as debris 
from previous space experiments. Three sightings that are described in detail remain quite unidentified and are. Roach says, "a 
challenge to the analyst." 

Roach emphasizes that the conditions for simple visual observation of objects near the satellite are not as good as might be naively 
supposed. As he describes them, "The conditions under which astronauts made their observations are similar to those which would 
be encountered by one or two persons in the front seat of a small car having no side or rear windows and a partially covered, very 



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smudged windshield." IVIoreover, the astronauts were kept occupied with other observations and activities during their flight and so 
did not have extended periods of time in which to concentrate on visual observation of their surroundings. Most of the available visual 
observations therefore have to be regarded as a byproduct rather than a primary purpose of the program in which they were 
engaged. 

The conclusion is that nothing definite relating to the ETH aspect of UFOs has been established as a result of these rather sporadic 
observations. 

BACK TO TOP 

16. Public Attitudes Toward UFOs 

Opinion polls are widely employed nowadays to measure public attitudes on various important and trivial issues. It is natural 

[[59]] 



therefore to apply the same method to a determination of public attitudes toward various phases of the UFO question. 

Studies of this sort are not studies of the UFOs themselves, but an attempt at determination of what the American public thinks about 
UFOs. Some UFOs either do or do not come from outer space, and the fact of the matter would not be determined by finding out what 
the opinion of the American people about it maybe. Nevertheless we considered that public attitudes do play a role in policy formation 
in America, and therefore it was appropriate to carry on some work in this area. 

In 1947, 1950 and 1966 brief surveys of public attitudes on UFOs or flying saucers were conducted by the American Institute of Public 
Opinion, popularly known as the Gallup poll. Arrangements were made by the Colorado project for a more detailed study to be made 
during the spring of 1968. This was done for us by the Opinion Research Corporation. Findings of the earlier studies and of the study 
made for us are presented in Chapter 7 of Section III. 

The first two studies indicated respectively that 90% and 94% of the American adult public had heard of flying saucers. The first of 
these results, taken within months of the original June 1947 sightings at Mt. Rainier indicates the extraordinary interest which the 
subject aroused from the outset. The 1966 survey indicated that 96% of the adult public had heard of flying saucers. 

In the 1966 poll people were asked, 

"Have you, yourself, ever seen anything you thought was a 'flying saucer'?" 

The result was that 5% of the 96% who had heard of them answered yes to this question. The sample was designed to be 
representative of the American population, 21 years of age and older, of whom there are some 100 million. This is the basis of the oft- 
quoted statistic that five million Americans have said that they think they have seen a flying saucer. 

[[60]] 



In the same 1966 poll, 48% said they thought the things called flying saucers were "something real," and 31% said that they were "just 
peoples imagination." The question does not distinguish between various kinds of "real" things, such as weather balloons, aircraft, 
planets, mirages, etc., so the result by no means indicated that 48% believe they are visitors from outer space. That question was not 
included in the 1966 poll. 

The 1966 pol 1 asked whether the person interviewed thinks "there are people somewhat like ourselves living on other planets in the 
universe?" The question thus bears solely on ILE, not on whether such intelligences do in fact visit the Earth. Of the 1 ,575 interviewed 
34% thought yes, 45% thought no, and 21 % had no opinion. 

There were no statistically significant regional differences between East, Midwest, South and West with regard to the proportion of the 
population which had heard of, had seen, or believed in the reality of flying saucers. However, as to belief in ILE, the existence of 
people on other planets, this belief was held by only 27% of southerners, as compared with 36% of easterners, 37% of midwesterners 
and 36% of westerners. The lower proportion of southerners who believe in ILE is statistically significant, that is, outside the range of 
chance variation due to finite size of sample. Although statistically significant, it is causally unexplained. 

Significant variation with age is shown in responses to belief in the reality of flying saucers, and to belief in intelligent life on other 
planets. About 50% of persons under 60 believe in the reality of flying saucers as compared with about 33% of persons over 60. On 
the other hand, a significantly smaller proportion of those under 50 believe in ILE, than do those over 50. On both of these points, the 
decline in the number of "believers" among older people is mostly due to the increase of those having "no opinion" rather than to an 
increase of the number of "non-believers." Here again the poll gives no basis for conclusions as to the reasons for these differences. 

[[61]] 



As to dependence on sex , 22% of men or women have no opinion as to the "reality" of flying saucers. Significantly more women than 
men believe in their reality: 

% Real % Imaginary 



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Men 43 35 ' 

Women 52 26 

The poll showed that increased amount of formal education is associated with an increased tendency to believe in the reality of flying 
saucers. Perhaps this result says something about how the school system trains students in critical thinking. 

An interesting correlation is found between tendency to believe in UFO reality, and to believe in ILE with having had a personal 
experience of having seen an UFO. The results are: 

% believing UFOs are real % believing in ILE 

Sighters 76 51 

Non-sighters 46 34 

As before, causal relations are unexplored; we do not know whether seeing is believing, or believing is seeing. 

In the 1968 study conducted for the Colorado project by the Opinion Research Corporation, 2,050 adults over 17 years of age, living in 
private households in the continental United States were interviewed. In addition teenagers in the same household with an adult who 
was interviewed were also interviewed to give a sample of their views. Separate studies of opinions held by college students were 
conducted. These are reported in Section III, Chapter 7. 

In the 1968 survey, 3% of adults replied affirmatively to "Have you, yourself, ever seen an UFO?" This parallels the 5% who answered 
affirmatively in the 1966 Gallup poll to the similar question, "Have you ever seen anything that you thought was a 'flying saucer'?" One 
might think that the smaller number in 1968 could be explained by perhaps less familiarity of the public with the term UFO than with the 

[[62]] 



term flying saucer. This seems hardly likely, however, in that the question was part of a total interview in which the meaning of the term 
UFO would have become clear from the general context of other questions in the interview. It seems to us therefore that this poll 
actually indicated a smaller percentage of sighters than the earlier one. 

An important finding is that 87% of those who said that they had seen an UFO, also declared that they had reported it to no one, other 
than to family or friends, that is, to no one by which it would have received official attention. Thus only about one-eighth of sightings 
were reported anywhere, and not all of these were reported to the Air Force. Hence if all sightings were reported to the Air Force, this 
result indicates that the number of reports received would be more than eight times as many as are now being received. From the 
small fraction who did report to the Air Force, it seems a fair inference that most of these non-reporting sighters did not think that what 
they saw constituted a security hazard. 

In contrast, 56% of the non-sighters declared that they would report it to the police if they saw an UFO. We find this rather large 
discrepancy between the promised reporting behavior of the non-sighters and the actual reporting behavior of the sighters quite 
puzzling. 

BACK TO TOP 

17. Other Psychological Studies 

Consideration was given to a variety of modes of conducting psychological and psychiatric research into the UFO phenomenon. The 
possibility that an "experimental UFO" might be launched and reports of its sighting studied was given serious consideration and 
rejected on three grounds: In view of the fact that this was a government-sponsored, university-based study, it was felt that experiments 
in which the public might regard itself as having been victimized by what amounted to a hoax were unwise. Such experiments also 
might give rise, we thought, to the erroneous notion that the study regarded UFO phenomena solely as the result of misinterpretation 
of natural or manmade phenomena. Finally, we were advised by some of our experts in 

[[63]] 



the psychological disciplines, that a "mock-up" UFO would introduce unknown variables that would render inconclusive any results 
derived from the conduct of experiments with it (see Section VI, Chapter 10). 

Turning to the realm of psychiatry, we decided to refrain from mounting a major effort in this area on the ground that such a study could 
not be given priority over other investigations. This decision was buttressed by the evidence that we rapidly gathered, pointing to the 
fact that only, a very small proportion of sighters can be categorized as exhibiting psychopathology and that, therefore, there is no 
reason to consider them any more suitable for study than psychotic or psychoneurotic individuals who belong to any other statistical 
class of the population as a whole (see Section VI, Chapter 3). 

BACK TO TOP 

18. Instrumentation for UFO Searches 

As remarked earlier, the short duration of most UFO sightings, the delays in reporting them and the delays caused by communication 
and travel, make it essentially impossible that investigators can bring physical observing equipment to a report site quickly enough to 



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1 



make UFO observations in that way. There is another way that is often proposed forgetting better observational data than is now 
available; namely, to set up a permanently manned network of observing stations at various places in the country to observe such 
UFOs as might come within their range. 



Such a network of stations might be set up solely for the purpose of UFO study, or it might be established in conjunction with one of the 
networks of stations which exist for other astronomical or meteorological purposes. This latter alternative, of course, would be much 
less expensive than the former, or could give a greater coverage for the same expenditure. 

We gave considerable attention to the possibilities and difficulties in this direction (Section VI, Chapter 9). At first we hoped that some 
definite results could be obtained by such cooperation with existing stations in a way that would make results available for this report. 

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An all-sky camera was operated during mostof August 1967 at Harrisburg, Penna. during an UFO flap in that locality (Case 25) but no 
interesting results were found on some 9,000 photographs. It would be quite expensive to operate a network of such cameras on a 
routine basis all over the United States. The likelihood or interesting images being recorded would be very small. Because of the short 
duration of an UFO appearance a proper plan for use of the all-sky camera would involve frequent processing and examination of the 
film, othenA/ise the presence of an UFO would not be recognized until long after it had disappeared. This would greatly increase the 
cost of operation of such a network. 

Another suggestion that is often made is to make UFO studies in connection with the radar networks operating in this country for air 
traffic control under auspices of the Federal Aviation Agency. Consideration was given to this possibility and it was concluded that it is 
quite out of the question to burden this network with additional duties of any kind. The air traffic control operators are now heavily 
burdened with the work of safely guiding civil and military aviation. During the summer of 1968 especially, the heavy overloads that 
sometimes exist on the system were emphasized by troublesome traffic delays in the neighborhood of several of the nation's major 
airports. It would be quite out of the question to ask the air traffic controllers to assume the responsibility of watching for UFOs in 
addition to their primary responsibilities. It would likewise be impracticable for a separate group of personnel to be installed at these 
stations to watch the same radars for UFOs. 

The Prairie Network is a group of camera stations operated in the mid-west by the Smithsonian Institution in connection with the 
Harvard Meteor Program. Its primary purpose is to detect and record meteor trails in such a way as to guide a search for actual 
meteoriitic bodies that strike the earths surface. The field headquarters of this network is at Lincoln, Neb. 

We prepared a listing of reported UFO sightings since 1965 that 

[[65]] 



fell within the geographic limits of this network and through the kind cooperation of the Smithsonian Institution obtained the records of 
the network for the times and locations of these sightings. About half of the sightings were so lacking in specific information that, 
Frederick Ayer reports (p 1229) "even if an object had been recorded by the film it would have been impossible to correlate it with the 
sighting." About one-third of the sightings could not be traced on the film because of overcast skies. Some 18% of all the UFO 
sightings were identified on the network's records with a fair degree of probability. Nearly all of these were identified as astronomical 
objects. Some consideration was given to the costs and likelihood of success of adapting the Prairie Network instruments to UFO 
searches without interfering with their primary purpose. We think that something might be done along this line at reasonable expense, 
but we do not make a positive recommendation that such a program be undertaken because of the inconclusiveness of the 
information that we believe would be gathered. 

Another existing program that was studied for unrecognized UFO records was that of scanning the night sky for study of air glow from 
the upper atmosphere, and of zodiacal light. Detailed study was made of two records obtained from a station on the Hawaiian Islands, 
One of these remains unidentified but is thought to be related to an artificial satellite for which no information is readily available. The 
other was definitely identified as a sub-orbital missile launched from Vandenberg AFB on the coast of southern California. Mr. Ayer 
concludes that "because of their relatively extensive sky coverage, scanning photometers can be considered useful instruments in the 
conduct of UFO searches." This, however, is not to be construed as a recommendation that a network of scanning photometer 
stations be established for this purpose. 

Consideration was also given to the adaptability to UFO search purposes of radars of the type used by the Weather Bureau, and the 
radar station of the Radar Meteor Project of the Smithsonian Institution 

[[66]] 



located near Havana, III. 

Although frequent claims are made in the UFO popular literature of magnetic disturbances due to the presence of UFOs, a 
consideration of various official magnetometer records produced no evidence of an effect of this kind that, in our judgment would 
warrant the setting up of an observational program to look for UFOs by their alleged magnetic effects. 

BACK TO TOP 

19. Conclusion 



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In our study we gave consideration to every possibility that we could think of forgetting objective scientific data about the kind of thing 
that is the subject of UFO reports. As the preceding summary shows, and as is fully documented in the detailed chapters which follow, 
all such efforts are beset with great difficulties. We place very little value for scientific purposes on the past accumulation of anecdotal 
records, most of which have been explained as arising from sightings of ordinary objects. Accordingly in Section I we have 
recommended against the mounting of a major effort for continuing UFO study for scientific reasons. 

This conclusion is controversial. It will not be accepted without much dispute by the UFO amateurs, by the authors of popular UFO 
books and magazine articles, or even by a small number of academic scientists whose public statements indicate that they feel that 
this is a subject of great scientific promise. 

We trust that out of the clash of opinions among scientists a policy decision will emerge. Current policy must be based on current 
knowledge and estimates of the probability that further efforts are likely to produce further additions to that knowledge. Additions to 
knowledge in the future may alter policy judgments either in the direction of greater, or of less attention being paid to UFO phenomena 
than is being done at present. 

We hope that the critical analysis of the UFO situation among scientists and government officials that must precede the determination 
of official policy can be carried out on a strictly objective basis. 

[[67]] 



Attacks on the integrity of various individuals on either side of this controversy ought to be avoided. The question of an individual's 
integrity is wholly distinct from the issue of what science should do in the future about UFOs. 

In the Congress of the United States concern about the UFO problem from a defense viewpoint is the province of the House 
Committee on Armed Services. Concern about it from the point of view of the nations scientific research program comes under the 
House Committee on Science and Astronautics. Here there seems to be a valid situation of overlapping jurisdictions because the 
UFO problem can be approached from both viewpoints. 

A particular interest in the UFO problem has been shown by Congressman J. Edward Roush of Indiana, who is a member of the 
House Committee on Science and Astronautics. He performed a valuable service by arranging for the holding of a "Symposium on 
Unidentified Flying Objects" in Washington on 29 July 1 968 (see references). As pointed out by one of the symposium participants. 
Prof. Carl Sagan of the department of astronomy of Cornell University, the presentations made in that symposium incline rather 
strongly to the side of belief that large-scale investigations of the UFO phenomenon ought to be supported in the expectation that they 
would be justified by what some speakers called "scientific paydirt." 

We studied the transcript of this symposium with great care to see whether we would be led thereby to any new material related to this 
study. We did not find any new data. 

Several of the contributors to that symposium have become trenchant advocates in the past several years of a continuing major 
government investment in an UFO program. Several have long urged a greater degree of congressional interest in this subject. The 
symposium of 29 July afforded them an occasion on which with the utmost seriousness they could put before the Congress and the 
public the best possible data and the most favorable arguments for larger government activity in this field. 

[[68]] 



Hence it is fair to assume that the statements presented in that symposium represent the maximum case that this group feels could be 
made. We welcome the fact that this symposium is available to the public and expect that its data and arguments will be compared 
with those in their report of this study by those whose duty it is to make responsible decisions in this area. 

We have studied this symposium record with great care and find nothing in it which requires that we alter the conclusions and 
recommendations that we have presented in Section I, nor that we modify any presentation of the specific data contained in other 
sections of this report. 

BACK TO TOP 
[[69]] 



References 



Bailey, J. 0. Pilgrims Tlirough Space and Time-Trends and Patterns in Scientific and Utopian Fiction, New York: Argus Books, 
1947. 

Bloecher, T. E. Report of the UFO Wave of 1947, Washington (?), 1967. 
Cameron, A. G. W. Interstellar Communication, New York: Benjamin, 1963. 
Hall, Richard H. The UFO Evidence, Washington: NICAP, 1964. 



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Keyhoe, Donald E. "Flying Saucers are Real," True, 1950. 

Lorenzen, Coral B. The Great Flying Saucer Hoax, New York: Williann-Frederick Press, 1962. 
Lowell, Percival H.Mars and its Canals, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1908. 

Markowitz, Williann. "The Physics and Metaphysics of Unidentified Flying Objects," Science, 157 (1967), 1274-79. 

Menzel, Donald H. Flying Saucers, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1952. 

Menzel, Donald H. and Lyie G. Boyd. The World of Flying Saucers, New York: Doubleday, 1963. 

Miller, Stanley L. "Production of Organic Compounds under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions," Journal American Chemical 
Society, 77 (1955), 2351-61. 

Olsen, T. The Reference for Outstanding UFO Sighting Reports, Ridenwood, Maryland: UFOIRC, Inc. 
Page, R. M. The Origin of Radar, Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Anchor Books, 1962. 

Purcell, Edwin. "Radioastronomy and Communication Through Space," Brookhaven Lecture Series No. 1, Brookhaven National 
Laboratory, New York, 16 November 1960. 

Ruppelt, B. J. The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, New York: Doubleday and Company, Ace Books, 1956. 

Rush, J. hi. The Dawi of Life, New York: Doubleday & Co., Inc. 1957 (also Signet Library of Science, New American Library, N.Y 
1962). 

[[70]] 

Salisbury, Frank B. "Martian Biology," Science, 136 (1962), 17-26. 

Sullivan, Walter. We Are Not Alone, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1964, New York: New American Library (paperback edition), 
1966. 

Shklovskii, I. S. Artificial Satellites of Mars and Riddle of the Martian Satellites, Moskow: Komsomal'skaya Pravda, 1 May and 31 
May 1959, English translation, FTD-T[-62-488-1 , Wright Patterson AFB, 18 May 1962. 

Shklovskii, I. S., and Carl Sagan. Intelligent Life in the Universe, San Francisco: Holden-Day, 1966. 

U.S. Ninetieth Congress, Second Session, Hearings before the Committee on Science and Astronautics, 29 July 1968. Symposium 
on Unidentified Flying Objects, Washington: Govt. Print. Off., 1968. 

Vallee, Jacques, and Janine Vallee. Challenge to Science -- The UFO Enigma, Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1966. 

[[71]] 

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Section III 
The Work of the Colorado Project 

BACK to Contents 

The seven chapters that follow describe the details of the scientific studies carried out by members of the project staff in the physical 
and social sciences. Most of the studies were, as Dr. Craig points out, closely related to the project's examination of specific cases. 
Detailed reports of the cases are found in Section IV. 

Chapter 1 - Field Studies 
Chapter 2 - Photographic Evidence 
Chapter 3 - Direct Physical Evidence 
Chapter 4 - Indirect Physical Evidence 
Chapters - Optical/Radar Analyses 
Chapter 6 - Astronaut Observations 
Chapter 7 - Attitude Survey 

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I 



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Chapter 1 
Field Studies 
Roy Craig 



1. Introduction 

2. Old UFO Cases 

3. Old Cases Not on Record: 

4. Emphasis on Current Reports: 

5. The Early Warning System: 

6. Investigation Capability and Philosophy 

7. Types of Current Cases Studied 

8. Remarks and Recommendations: 
References 

BACK to Contents 



1. Introduction 

Reports of UFO observations, elaborate in description as they sometimes are, are usually lacking information which would concretely 
define the nature of the object observed or the experience described. When specific information describing an unidentifiable object is 
presented, the reliability of that information must also be evaluated, and some corroboration or independent verification is necessary. 

At its outset in November 1 966, the information with which this project had to work consisted of old reports, some of which had been 
investigated quite thoroughly by official and private agencies, and press accounts of current sightings, in which the information was 
generally fragmentary. New information regarding sightings which had never been revealed to the public also occasionally came to our 
attention. In all cases, additional information, varying in nature for different cases, was desired. Field investigations were undertaken in 
an effort to obtain such information. 

BACK TO TOP 

2. Old UFO Cases 

The project acquired copies of Project Blue Book and NICAP reports of UFO cases which had been discussed in popular UFO 
writings or which were regarded as having unusual scientific interest. Some of these reported sightings had been so extensively 
publicized that they have acquired the status of "Classic" cases. 

In December 1966, early in the project history, we attempted to augment available information regarding one such case: the 1952 
Washington, D.C., radar sightings (see Section III Chapters), by on-site 

[[73]] 



re-investigation of the case. While this inquiry provided valuable new experience in the problems of investigating UFO phenomena, it 
brought little or no new information to light. 

In general, testimony of witnesses recorded shortly after their experiences can be considered more reliable than their re-telling of the 
story two to 20 years later, both because of failures of memory and because of a tendency to crystallization of the story upon repeated 
retelling. Forthis reason, re-examination of witnesses in"classic" cases was not considered a useful way for the project to invest time. 
Field investigation of classic cases was therefore limited to those in which existing reports contained a serious discrepancy which 
might be resolved. 

In one classic case, field investigation was undertaken primarily to locate that portion of a strip of 16mm. motion picture film made in 
1 950 which, the photographer said, showed most clearly the structure of UFOs he had photographed (Case 47). The photographer 
had claimed that this portion had been removed from his film when he lent it to the Air Force for study before the film was returned to 
him byATIC experts. 

The results of the investigation emphasized the vicissitudes of memory and the difficulties of establishing a crucial fact some 18 years 
after the event. Rather than reducing the uncertainty in the case, the investigation created greater uncertainty because it revealed 
further discrepancies in accounts of the sighting. 

The case also was of special interest because earlier photographic analysis by Dr. R.M.L. Baker, then of Douglas Aircraft 
Corporation, indicated that the photographed objects probably were not aircraft contrary to their "identification" in Project Blue Book 
records. Identification as other man-made or natural objects apparently had 

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been ruled out primarily on the basis of wind direction on the alleged date of the sighting. 



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Since a detailed account of this sighting is given in Chapter 3, Section IV, only that information is presented here which illustrates the 
difficulties arising in attempts to investigate an event which occurred years previously, even when the primary and most of the principal 
secondary witnesses are still available. 

This writer visited the photographer seeking details that might confirm or disprove his claim that the Air Force had admitted 
confiscating part of the film. The photographer had asserted that he possessed a letter from the Air Force containing precisely such 
an admission. If the letter could be produced, it might then be possible for the project to recover the allegedly missing film for study. A 
first-hand account of the sighting also was desired. At Great Falls, Mont, where the film was made, residents who had seen the film 
before it was sent to the Air Force were interviewed, newspaper accounts were searched, and attempts were made to resolve 
discrepancies in these reports. The only other person who reportedly witnessed the filming was, at the time of the event, serving as 
secretary to the photographer. She was interviewed by telephone. 

1 . The photographer had an extensive accumulation of papers and news clippings relating to his UFO film, much of it referring to 
his participation in a commercially produced documentary on UFOs released in 1 956. No Air Force (or other) letter admitting 
that part of the film had been removed could be found among these accumulated papers. The photographer nevertheless 
insisted that he had such a letter, and suggested that many such items had been misplaced when he had changed his 
residence. 

2. He also professed to no knowledge of the Air Force's "identification" of the filmed objects as two F-94 airplanes circling to land 
at the Great Falls Air Base, now renamed Malmstrom AFB. He remembered no aircraft in the sky near the time of his UFO 
sighting, and 

[[75]] 



thought the aircraft explanation absurd. Nor did he recall that he had claimed in the documentary film, and in letters which 
are part of the Blue Book case file, to have seen two airplanes approaching Great Falls Air Base just after he took his 
UFO movies. 

3. Several residents of Great Falls who were said to have seen the UFO film before it was loaned to the Air Force denied having 
seen it at that time. Others who had seen it both before and after it was lent to the Air Force firmly believed that not all the 
original film was returned by the Air Force. This claim was generally accepted as true by Great Falls residents. However, no 
measurements of film footage had been made before and after the loan to the Air Force, so that claims of film cropping could 
not be verified. Blue Book files contained some evidence lending credence to this claim. The original letter of transmittal of the 
film from Great Falls AFB to Wright-Patterson AFB stated that approximately 15 feet, of film were being transmitted. Only some 
7 feet, were analyzed by Dr. Baker in 1956. 

4. The secretary was the only witness to the UFO filming. She remembered distinctly seeing a single object and rushing outside the 
baseball stadium with her employer to watch him film it. She was certain it could not have been an airplane, because its 
appearance was quite different from that of a plane. She remembers seeing only one object, while the movie unambiguously 
shows two, almost identical objects moving across the sky. 

5. Records had shown that two F-94s did land at Great Falls Air Base at 1 1:30 and 1 1 :33 a.m. on 15 August 1950, about the time 
the UFO film was assumed to have been made. Local newspapers for this period, however, revealed that the semi-professional 
baseball team that the photographer managed did not play in Great Falls on that date but, rather, played in Twin Falls, Idaho 
several hundred miles away. The team played no home games in Great Falls between 

[[76]] 



9 August and 18 August. According to the account of the UFO sighting, the photographer was at the base ball park to 
prepare for the game to be played that afternoon; if this general account of the conditions of the UFO filming is accepted, 
the 15 August date must be erroneous. The relevance of the landing of the particular airplanes to which official 
identification of the filmed objects was assigned thus became highly questionable. Weather data which indicated the 
objects were moving against the wind, and thus could not have been balloons, also became irrelevant. 

Reexamination of the record, in view of this date discrepancy, shows some early uncertainty as to whether the movies 
were taken on 5 August or 15 August. Acceptance by the Air Force of 15 August as the sighting date, and explanation of 
the filmed objects informs of aircraft in the vicinity on that date, seems somewhat careless, since the presence of the 
photographer in Great Falls on that date of the photograph appears improbable. There is no question that the film was 
made in Great Falls, Mont. An identifiable water tower located there appears on the film. The date the movie was made is 
entirely open to question, however. Elimination of a balloon explanation depends upon knowledge of wind direction and 
that knowledge is available only if the date is known. Information regarding the date, is not now available. 

6. An indication of the manner in which representatives of the Air Force dealt with the photographer, after the original UFO report 
was submitted in 1950, is given in a written statement to him from Air Materiel Command Headquarters. After examination of 
the film, which clearly showed two images crossing the sky and passing behind the distant water tower, the statement read ". . . 
our photo analysts were unable to find on it anything identifiable of an unusual nature. Our report of analysis must therefore be 
negative." This writer prefers to leave interpretation of this statement to the reader. 



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[[77]] 



This limited field investigation of a classic case revealed more discrepancies in the file record reports than it resolved. It produced no 
firm evidence that part of the film had been retained by the Air Force, and no leads through which such film might be located, if it had 
been retained. 

Other field investigations of "classic" sightings involving photographs were somewhat more productive of new information. In the Ft. 
Belvoir photographic case for example, the doughnut-shaped structure in the photos was unequivocally identified when Dr. Hartmann 
showed the photographs to Army experts at Ft. Belvoir (Case 50). 

During review of other classic cases it was possible, in some instances, for project investigators to develop new, pertinent 
information. This information generally depended upon recorded data, such as weather data, which could be acquired by telephone, 
mail, or library reference. Knowledge of atmospheric conditions prevailing at the time of radar UFO sightings, for example, allowed 
analysis of sighting reports in the light of current knowledge of radar propagation. Thus, atmospheric information was useful in 
evaluating classic cases such as the 1952 Washington, D.C. sightings (see Section III, Chapter 5), in which on-site interviewing had 
contributed no new information. Since our experience generally showed that new interviews of witnesses in classic cases did not 
produce dependable new information, fewonsite investigations of such cases were undertaken. 

BACK TO TOP 

3. Old Cases Not on Record: 

Because of the existence of our study, people told us of UFO sightings that had never previously been reported to any study group. A 
graduate student described three large craft which flew in 1 956, slowly just above tree-top level, over a clearing in woods where, as a 
Boy Scout he and other Scouts were camping. 

A U.S. Navy captain related such an unreported experience. In 1 962, he and four members of his family saw what appeared to be an 
elongated cylindrical object silhouetted against stars. His brief account reads: 

[[78]] 



While returning from a movie at about 9:30 p.m., on Palatine Road about 5 mi. west of (location X), an object was sighted 
above the tree tops crossing from South to North at a slow rate of speed. At first it appeared like the lighted windows of a 
railroad passenger car, although on continued observation the lighted windows appeared in a more circular arrangement. 
We stopped the car and the entire family stepped outside and watched as it slowly moved away. There was no sound 
whatsoever. The night was warm, clear, and with no wind. The object (appeared) to be about 1000-2000 feet, in altitude on 
a level course. 

The captain has served in the Navy for 25 years and had been a pilot for 26 years. 

An Air Force major, on active duty at an air base described an experience he and his family had several years ago while driving 
across Texas. While stopped at a remote gasoline station just after dawn, the Major and his son heard and watched two strange 
conical vehicles. They rose from behind a small hill, crossed the highway near them, and soared off into the sky, according to the 
major's account. 

The numerous reports of this type were extremely interesting, and often puzzling. Many incidents were reported by apparently reliable 
witnesses. However, since they had happened in the relatively distant past, these events did not offer the project much prospect of 
obtaining significant information about the objects apparently sighted. There was no possibility of finding residual physical evidence at 
the site, and, in the typical case, the date of the event was uncertain, making it impossible to locate recorded relevant information such 
as weather data. 

[[79]] 



One old case (Case 5) which was not on public record did seem to warrant investigation. Our early information, from an apparently 
highly reliable source indicated that radar scope pictures, electronic counter-measure graphic data, and U.S. Air Force intelligence 
debriefing records regarding the event should be in existence and available for our study. 

The case came to our attention when an Air Force officer attending the project's conference for base UFO officers mentioned that he 
had encountered an unknown aerial phenomenon about ten years earlier. At the time of the event he reported it to Air Force 
intelligence personnel. 

The incident involved the crew of a B-47 equipped with radar surveillance devices. The B-47 was operating from a Strategic Air 
Command base, and the report of the incident was thought to have beensentto Air Defense Command Intelligence. No report of the 
incident was found in Blue Book files or in the files of NORAD headquarters at Ent AFB. Lacking adequate information on an 
impressive case, project investigators sought to locate and interview members of the original B-47 crew, hoping to determine how the 
incident been officially identified and to trace AF reports on it. 

The B-47 crew consisted of pilot, co-pilot, navigator, and three officers who operated special radar-monitoring equipment. The three 
officers most directly involved with the UFO incident were pilot, co-pilot, and the operator of #2 monitoring unit. Their descriptions of 



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the 1957 experience over the Dallas-Ft.Worth area were in broad agreement. Details of the experience are given in Case 5. 

The UFO encountered was a glowing ball of light, as "big as a barn," which apparently emitted or reflected electromagnetic radiation 
at both 2800 MHz and visible frequencies. For an extended period it maintained a constant position relative to the moving 

[[80]] 



airplane, at 10-mi. range. It disappeared suddenly and reappeared at a different location, both visually and on airborne and ground 
radars. Since visual and radar observation seemed to coincide, reflection of ground radar did not seem a satisfactory explanation. 
Other explanations such as airplanes, meteors, and plasma also seemed unsatisfactory. 

At first glance, the case seemed ideal for investigation by the project, since B-47s engaged in such operations routinely wire-record 
all conversations within the aircraft and between the ground during missions and are equipped with radar scope cameras and devices 
for recording graphically electronic counter-measure data. The pilot believed that such records had been turned over to intelligence 
officers after landing at the air base. The co-pilot and radar specialist were interviewed, but they said that since this mission was only 
for equipment checkout, neither wire nor film was taken aboard, and no data were recorded. The three crew members agreed that a 
full account of the experience had been given to Intelligence personnel at the air base from which the plane was operating. The pilot 
recalled the crew's completing a lengthy standard questionnaire regarding the experience some days after the event. However, the 
other two crew members recalled only an Intelligence debriefing just after landing and believed it was not more than two days after this 
event that the entire crew left for temporary duty in England. Thereafter they heard nothing further about the UFO. 

Efforts to locate an intelligence report of this event were made at our request by Aerospace Defense Command Headquarters. 
Neither intelligence files nor operations records contained any such report, according to the information we received. An inquiry 
directed to Strategic Air Command Headquarters elicited response from the Deputy Commander for Operations of the Air Wing 
involved. He said a thorough review of the Wing history failed to disclose any reference to an UFO incident on 19 September 1957. 

[[81]] 



UFO reports filed in Wing Intelligence are destroyed after six months. Since Project Blue Book, which maintains permanent UFO 
records, had no report of the event, we concluded the there existed No Air Force record that we could study. 

The question of reliability of the crew's oral report remains. The individuals involved were trained, experienced observers of aerial 
events. None had encountered anything else of this nature before or since, and all were deeply impressed by the experience. 
Inconsistencies in the various accounts of the event itself were minor, and of a nature expected for recollection of an impressive event 
ten years past. There was serious lack of agreement regarding information recorded during the flight and events subsequent to 
landing. On the basis of criteria commonly applied, however, these observers would be judged reliable. 

If the report is accurate, it describes an unusual, intriguing, and puzzling phenomenon, which, in the absence of additional information, 
must be listed as unidentified. In view of the date and nature of the mission, it may be assumed that radar "chaff' and a temperature 
inversion may have been factors in the incident. (See Section VI, Chapter 5). A temperature inversion did exist at 34,000 feet. The fact 
that the electromagnetic energy received by the monitor was of the same frequency as that emitted by the ground radar units makes 
one suspect the ground units as the ultimate source of this energy. Whether such factors are pertinent or coincidental to the 
experience of this B-47 crew remains however, open to debate. For a detailed analysis of this case see Section III, Chapter 5, pp. 
203-207. 

For the purposes of this discussion the case typifies one of the difficulties inherent in the investigation of older sighting reports: 

The first information that the investigator receives leads him to believe that further inquiry may well adduce reliable records of a 
strange event, for example, recordings of intercommunication within the aircraft and between air and ground; photographs of 
radarscope targets; graphic data from other instrumentation; written reports 

[[82]] 



of crew debriefings. Yet the most diligent efforts by project investigators failed to disclose the existence of any record. 

BACK TO TOP 

4. Emphasis on Current Reports: 

Such experiences convinced project investigators that field investigation should concentrate on current UFO reports. A properly 
equipped investigator might obtain accurate descriptive information about an unidentified object if he arrived on the scene shortly after 
a sighting, or during a sustained or repetitive sighting. Early in the study a few field trips had already been made to check current 
sighting reports, but the investigators had not been adequately equipped to gather quantitative data. In some interesting cases, the 
project had depended upon the reports of members of civilian UFO organizations who investigate UFO reports in their localities. In 
some instances their findings supplemented information from official Air Force investigation. 

While the cooperation of private groups was helpful, objective evaluation of the sighting required obtaining as much first-hand 
information as possible. This could be done only when sustained or repetitive sighting situations occurred. In the case of isolated j 



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sightings, the project sought to send an investigator to the location as soon as possible, since the possibility of gathering meaningful 
data decreased rapidly with time, particularly when residual physical evidence was reported. For this reason, it was essential that the 
project receive immediate notification of any significant sighting. 

Reports of apparently significant sightings usually reached us days or weeks after the event. Notification through official channels was 
inadequate because many sightings reported to news media apparently were not reported to the Air Force. Although Air Force 
Regulation 80-1 7A (Appendix B ) stipulated that Air Force bases were to submit all UFO reports to the project, few reports 

[[83]] 



were received from this source during the Spring of 1967. During this time Frank Edwards (1967) claimed that he and NICAP were 
each receiving some 100 UFO reports per week. Since many of these reports would not have been judged significant by any 
investigator, the project established an early notification network designed to filter out obviously insignificant reports and to notify us 
immediately of apparently significant sightings anywhere in the continental United States. 

BACK TO TOP 

5. The Early Warning System: 

Our organization for providing early notification of UFO sightings utilized official and semi-official agencies, and private groups. 
Reporters and editors, although operating outside this structure, occasionally supplemented the system by telephoning us about 
sightings in their areas. The Federal Aviation Agency assisted by providing a mechanism (see Appendix F) whereby air traffic 
controllers were to report unidentified radar targets to us immediately, and several reports were received from this source. Similar 
assistance was extended (see Appendices G and H) by the U.S. Weather Bureau and by Region 2 of the U.S. Forest Service. 
Cooperation also was obtained from the Volunteer Flight Officer Network (VFON), a cooperative organization of more than 30,000 
flight personnel of more than 100 airlines in about 50 countries. This organization, under the direction of Mr. H.E. Roth of United 
Airlines, transmits reports of sightings deemed to be satellite re-entries, whether or not the object observed is immediately 
identifiable. Arrangements were made with VFON for rapid transmittal to us of all unidentified aerial objects. Although few such 
reports were received from this network, its coverage of over 2,000,000 unduplicated route miles and its efficient system of 
communication promised monitoring of a large portion of the earth's atmosphere and quick reporting of observations. 

[[84]] 



A major component of our system for early notification consisted of a network of civilian observers distributed in carefully selected 
locations across the United States, and designated as the Early Warning Network (see Appendix I). Selected individuals were asked 
to serve as early warning coordinators for their areas evaluating UFO sightings in their vicinities, and immediately notifying us of 
apparently significant sightings. Most of the coordinators were recommended by NICAP or APRO, and the majority were associated 
with one or both of these organizations. Many of the coordinators were technically trained. All served without compensation, 
sometimes at considerable personal sacrifice. They were a major source of information received regarding current UFO sightings, 
and the project is grateful for their generous assistance. 

Reports of current UFO sightings were received by telephone and details specified on a standard early warning report form (Appendix 
J) were immediately recorded. If the report seemed promising, additional checking by telephone was begun immediately. This 
generally included calling a law enforcement agency, air base, newspaper editor, or others to get independent descriptions of the 
local situation. When possible, witnesses were also phoned for additional information. 

Since the aim was to have field teams at the site as quickly as possible, the decision whether to send a team to investigate had to be 
made on information available at this point. That information was often disturbingly incomplete. Rather than risk missing opportunities 
to get first-hand photographic, spectroscopic, magnetic, electromagnetic, or visual data, however, the project elected to err in the 
direction of dispatching a team even though the case might later prove valueless. 

The decision to investigate was made by a standing committee of three or four senior staff members. The decision was based upon 

[[85]] 



the committee's evaluation of the expectation that significant information could be obtained through field investigation. This 
expectation was judged on the basis of the apparent reliability of the source and the nature of the reported event. If the event had been 
observed independently by different groups of people, was reported to differ markedly from known or expected phenomena, and 
particularly if the sighting was a continuing event or one that had recurred frequently, field investigation was undertaken. Special 
attention was given to events in which physical evidence, such as alleged landing marks, residues, or measurable alterations in 
properties of objects in the environment, might be discovered and studied. 

BACK TO TOP 

6. Investigation Capability and Philosophy 

By May 1 967 teams of project investigators were available at all times for field investigations and were geared to reach a sighting 
location anywhere in the United States within 24 hours from receipt of the initial report. Equipment carried varied according to 



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expected requirements. A standard field kit enabled the team to take 35mm photographs and 8mm motion pictures, check the 
spectrum of a light source, measure radioactivity, check magnetic characteristics, collect samples, measure distances and angles, 
and to tape record interviews and sounds (see inventory list. Appendix K). Special equipment, such as an ultrasonic detector (Case 
20) and two-way radio equipment, was utilized in some instances. An all-sky camera was installed and used for one series of field 
investigations (Case 27). In this case, the investigator established a base of operations at a location from which UFO reports were 
generated, publicized his presence, and had an aide who received telephone calls and relayed UFO reports immediately to him in his 
telephone-equipped automobile. He surveyed the area in this manner for several weeks. 

In some investigations, a single investigator was deemed sufficient, but most investigating teams consisted of a physical 

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scientist and a psychologist. Although each had his own area of special interest, they assisted each other in all aspects of the 
investigation. In a few cases, psychological testing of individuals who reported UFO sightings was done in the field (see, for example 
cases 33, 38, 42). 

The aim of the field investigation was always to obtain useful information about UFO phenomena. We did not consider it our function 
to prove beyond doubt that a case was fraudulent if it appeared to be so. When an investigation reached the point, as sometimes 
happened, that the reality of the reported experience became highly doubtful, there was little to be learned from further inquiry. If 
unlawful or unethical practice were involved, we considered obtaining proof of this outside the realm of our study. 

BACK TO TOP 

7. Types of Current Cases Studied 

A. TYPICAL INVESTIGATION 

Although field teams entered a wide variety of situations and were often able to establish firm identifications, a common situation was 
one in which the lack of evidence made the investigation totally inconclusive. 

Near Haynesville, La., for example, (Case 10) a family had reported observing a pulsating light which changed from a red-orange glow 
to a white brilliance which washed out their car headlights and illuminated the woods on both sides of the highway. The driver had to 
shield his eyes to see the highway. About 0.6 mi. farther down the highway, the driver reportedly stopped the car and, from outside the 
automobile, watched the light, which had returned to its original glow. The light was still there when he stopped observing and left the 
area about five minutes later. 

Although our investigating team made an aerial survey of the area and watched for reappearance of the phenomenon, and the 
principal 

[[87]] 



witness continued to search the area after the team left, no revealing new information was discovered, and the source remains 
unidentified. 

In another case (39) a lone observer reported that his car had been stalled by an UFO he observed passing over the highway in front 
of his car. While the project generally did not investigate single-observer cases, this one presented us with the opportunity to check the 
car to see if it had been subjected to a strong magnetic field. Our tests showed it had not. Lacking any other means of obtaining 
additional information, the investigators left with the open question of what, if anything, the gentleman had actually experienced. 

A series of sightings around Cape Ann, Mass. (Case 29) offered testimony of numerous witnesses as evidence of the presence of a 
strange object, described as a large object with numerous lights which lit and disappeared in sequence. The investigating team was 
convinced, after interviewing several of the witnesses, that they had indeed seen something in the sky. The team was not able, at the 
time, to identify what had been seen. The chairman of the NICAP Massachusetts Subcommittee, Mr. Raymond E. Fowler, continued 
the investigation and subsequently learned that an aircrew from the 99th Bomb Wing, Westover AFB, had dropped 16 white flares 
while on a practice mission about 30 mi. NE of Cape Ann. The flare drop coincided in time and direction with the observed "UFO." As 
Mr. Fowler suggested, the "object" enclosing the string of lights must have been constructed by imagination. 

In this case as in others, the key to the solution to the puzzle of a previously unexplained sighting was discovered. Additional cases 
probably were not identified as ordinary phenomena merely because of lack of information. Hence the label "unidentified" does not 
necessarily imply that an unusual or strange object was present. On the other hand, some cases involve testimony which, if 

[[88]] 



taken at face value, describes experiences which can be explained only in terms of the presence of strange vehicles (see, for 
example. Case 6). These cases are puzzling, and conclusions regarding them depend entirely upon the weight one gives to the 
personal testimony as presented. 

B. PRANKS AND HOAXES 



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For varying reasons, UFO-related pranks are commonly perpetrated by the young, the young at heart, and the lonely and bored. Our 
field teams were brought to the scene more frequently by victims of pranksters than by the pranksters themselves. 

In one instance, (Case 7) the individual chiefly involved expressed serious concern that this project might conclude that flying saucers 
do not exist. Whether or not this concern was a factor in production of his photographs, this gentleman, would, by normal standards, be 
given the highest possible credibility rating. A recently retired military officer, he now holds a responsible civilian job. He is a man in 
his mid-forties who is held in high regard in the community. According to Air Force records, he served as an officer for 16 yr. and was 
rated a Command Pilot. He logged over 150 hr. flying time in C-47's in 1965. He presented two 35mm color slides of a flying saucer 
asserting that he took the photographs from an Air Force C-47 aircraft he was piloting. The object photographed was clearly a solid 
object of saucer shape. He claimed the pictures were taken in 1966, while he was off flight status and piloting the plane "unofficially" 
when he was aboard as a passenger. It was because of this circumstance, he claimed, that he did not report the UFO incident to the 
Air Force. 

While the latter argument seemed reasonable, it was puzzling that no one else on the plane apparently reported the UFO. According 
to the officer, the co-pilot who remained in the cockpit was unaware that he had taken the UFO pictures. The reason the officer had not 
been taken off flight status was never revealed, but the Air Force Office 

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of Special Investigations informed us that there was "nothing on file in his medical records to cast doubt on his veracity." 

In spite of the Officer's apparent reliability, investigation disclosed that the photographs were probably not taken at the time or place 
claimed. While he asserted that he barely had time to snap the two photographs through the window of the C-47, the numbers on the 
sides of the slide frames showed that the two slides had not been taken in immediate sequence. Comparison of these numbers with 
the numbers on other slides from the same roll of film also showed the UFO photographs to have been made after the officer retired 
from the Air Force and had moved to a new community. While the frame numbers stamped on mountings of the slides might 
conceivably have been erroneously stamped, as the officer claimed, such an error would not account for discrepancies in the frame 
numbers on the film itself, which are present when the film leaves the factory. The officer did not know that the film itself was 
prenumbered. 

Case 23 is an example of a simple prank by the young at heart. A pilot, about to take off from an Air Force base in an airplane 
equipped with a powerful, movable searchlight, suggested to his co-pilot, "Let's see if we cant spook some UFO reports." By judicious 
use of the searchlight from the air, particularly when flashes of light from the ground were noticed, the pilots succeeded remarkably 
well. Members of the ground party, hunting raccoons at the time, did report an impressive UFO sighting. Our field team found, in this 
case, an interesting opportunity to studythe reliability of testimony. 

A common prank is the launching of hot-air balloons, with small candles burning to keep the air heated. Instructions for making such 
balloon using plastic dry-cleaners' bags and birthday candles have appeared in newspapers and magazines across the nation. 

[[90]] 



UFO reports frequently result from such balloon launchings. The lights are reported to go out one by one, and sometimes the UFO 
"drops brilliant streams of light" as burning candles fall from their balsa-wood or drinking-straw mountings. Cases 1 8 and 45 are 
examples of this type prank. 

The instance described in case 18 was a flight of three plastic bags over Boulder, Colo., on 1 April 1967. The date is probably 
significant. They were observed and reported as UFOs by students, housewives, teachers, university professors, and a nationally 
prominent scientist. A newspaper reported one student's claim that the telephone he was using went dead when the UFO passed over 
the outdoor booth which housed it. Although plastic bags were suspected as the explanation, we were not certain of this until several 
days after the event. Because of unexpected publicity given the UFO sightings, the students who launched the balloons decided to 
inform the project of their role in the event. 

Case 45 is noteworthy as an example of extreme misperception of such a balloon. One adult observer described this 2 ft. x 3 ft. plastic 
bag floating over a building in Castle Rock, Colo., as a transparent object 75 ft. long, 20 ft. wide, and 20 ft. high, with about 12 lights in 
a circle underneath. He thought the object was about 75 ft. away. According to his description, the lights were much brighter than his 
car headlights; although the lights did not blind him, they lit up the ground near by. 

While this observer may still believe he saw something other than the plastic balloon bag, such a balloon was launched at the time of 
his observation and was observed by others to rise over the same building. 

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The last three examples mentioned are ones in which the UFO observer was the victim of pranksters. We conclude that in similar 
cases the prank is never discovered, and the UFO report remains in the "unknown" or "unresolved" category. Undiscovered pranks, 
deliberate hoaxes, and hallucinations, were suspected in some other field investigations. 

C. PRANKS OUT OF HAND 

What starts out as a prank occasionally develops a notoriety so widespread that the prankster becomes enmeshed in a monstrous 



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web of publicity from which he can no longer extricate himself. One elderly security guard (Case 26) on lonely, boring, pre-dawn duty in 
a waterfront area, fired his pistol at an oil drum used as a waste container. He was within the city limits of Los Angeles, but the site 
was isolated. Invention of an UFO, either to "explain" his illegal firing of a weapon within the city limits or to generate a bit of 
excitement, would be understandable under such circumstances. His tale of a 90 ft., cigar-shaped UFO, against which his bullets 
flattened and fell back to earth, where he picked up four of them, was a sensation. This gentleman was bewildered by the reaction to 
his nationally broadcast story. He and his wife were harassed by phone calls from coast to coast. The police, civilians, and Colorado 
project investigated. Even after admitting to police that his shots had been fired at the steel drum which bore bullet-size holes and 
dents, he could not disconnect himself from the widely publicized UFO version of his story. 

In any instance in which commitment to an apparently faked story seemed so strong that hoax or ignorance could no longer be 
admitted without serious psychological sequence, project members considered it neither desirable from the individual's standpoint 
nor useful from the projects standpoint to pursue the case further. 

D. NAIVE MISINTERPRETATIONS 

Unfettered imaginations, triggered into action by the view of an ordinary object under conditions which made it appear to be 

[[92]] 



extraordinary, caused reports of UFOs having such impressive features that our field teams investigated. Such a case was 1 5, in 
which the observer reported evening observations of a green light as large as a two-story building, sometimes round and sometimes 
oblong, which landed several times per week 5-20 mi. to the west of his house. He reported having seen through binoculars two rows 
of windows on a dome-shaped object that seemed to have jets firing from the bottom and that lit up a very large surrounding area. The 
motion was always a very gradual descent to the western horizon, where the object would "land" and shortly thereafter "cut off its 
lights." Our investigators found this gentleman watching the planet Venus, then about 1 5&Deg; above the western horizon. He agreed 
that the light now looked like a planet, and, had he not seen the object on other occasions when it looked closer and larger, he would 
not have known it was really an UFO. 

Light diffusion and scintillation effects (see Section VI, Chapter 4) were also responsible for early morning UFO observations, and 
Venus was again most frequently the unknowing culprit. Case 37, as initially reported to us, was a particularly exciting event, for not 
only had numerous law enforcement officers in neighboring communities observed, chased, and been chased by an UFO of 
impressive description, but, according to the report, the pilot of a small aircraft sent aloft to chase the UFO had watched it rise from 
the swamp and fly directly away from him at such speed that he was unable to gain on it in the chase. Both the light plane and the 
unidentified object, according to the initial report, were observed on the local Air Traffic Control radar screen. According to the 
descriptions, the object displayed various and changing colors and shapes. Appearing as big as the moon in the sky, it once stopped 
about 500 ft. above a police car, lighting up the surroundings so brightly that the officers inside the car could read their wrist watches. 
As indicated in 

[[93]] 



the detailed report of this case, supporting aspects of the main sighting report fell apart one by one as they were investigated, leaving 
us again pointing to Venus and finding the law enforcement officers surprised that she could be seen at mid-day near the position in 
the sky their UFO had taken after the early morning chase. 

E. MISINTERPRETATION SUPPORTED BY OFFICIAL MISINFORMATION 

One case impressed us not so much because of the description of the UFO as because of official information given to the observers 
by Air Force representatives. The Air Force not only failed to correct the observers' misinterpretation but by giving erroneous 
information, caused the proper interpretation to be withdrawn from consideration. Details of the case are reported by project 
investigator James E. Wadsworth in Section IV, Case 28 The discussion presented here is designed to serve as a basis for comment 
regarding the failure to recognize and reveal misinterpretations of known phenomena. 

A series of recurring sightings by multiple witnesses was reported from near Coarsegold, Calif. Coarsegold is in the Sierra Nevada 
foothills northeast of Fresno. The sightings were of special interest because they had been recurring for several months and remained 
unidentified after preliminary investigation by NICAP members in the area. These sightings offered the project the unusual opportunity 
of observing, photographing, and studying an object or objects which were being reported as UFOs. 

Dr. Franklin E. Roach and Mr. Wadsworth were sent by the project to conduct the investigation, NICAP members on the scene 
furnished results of their preliminary investigation and names and addresses of principal witnesses. The witnesses had organized a 
loose network for UFO surveillance using Citizens Band radio for communication covering an area of about 80 mi. radius. Theynot 
only had observed strange lights in the sky over several months, but also had photographed them and recorded the dates and times of 
their appearance and descriptions of their motions. 

[[94]] 



One to six UFOs had been sighted per week, sometimes several during the same night. About 85% of the sightings followed a 
recognizable pattern: Orange-white lights above the valley at night moved, hovered, disappeared and reappeared, and occasionally 
merged with one another. Other sightings were of varying nature, and some seemed to warrant separate investigation. Most of the 
observations had been made from a ranch 1 ,800 ft. above the vallev floor. Several others often in radio communication with the ranch 



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1 



owner, had witnessed the same events, and the witnesses were of apparently high reliability. The ranch owner, for example, had a 
background of police and military investigative experience. 



After interviewing primary witnesses, looking at photographs, and listening to tape recordings of descriptions of previous sightings, 
the project field team joined the ranch owner and his wife in night watches. At 10:30 p.m. on the second night of observation, a light 
appeared low in the southern skytraveling Wto E at approximately 1° of arc per second. After about 10 sec. more detail became 
visible. The source of this light was identified as a probable aircraft with conventional running lights and anti collision beacon. 

At the same time, another light had appeared to the east of the presumed aircraft, moving Wto E at about the same rate. It appeared 
as a dull orange light, showing some variation in intensity as it moved. No accurate estimates of distance could be made. Although 
this light was not manifestly on an aircraft, the possibility that it was could not be ruled out. The rancher, however, said that this was 
exactly the sort of thing they had been observing frequently as UFOs. He was disappointed that this one had not appeared as close 
and bright as on other occasions. 

After about 1 5 sec, the UFO seemed to flicker and then vanish. 

[[95]] 



The original object continued eastward, disappearing into the distance in the manner of an ordinary aircraft. Duration of observation 
less than a minute. Photographs of the unidentified light were taken by the project team on a high-speed Ektachrome film. 

Dr. Roach withdrew from the investigation taking the camera containing the exposed film to the Eastman Laboratories at Rochester, 
N.Y., for special processing, film calibration, and color analysis of film images. Mr. Wadsworth continued the investigation. The next 
night, he and the rancher observed UFOs at midnight and again at 12:42 a.m. 

They appeared as bright orange lights, showing no extended size but varying in intensity. They hovered, moved horizontally, and 
vanished. The rancher said that these were good, solid sightings of UFOs. Mr. Wadsworth thought they might be the lights of low-flying 
aircraft whose flight path produced the illusion of hovering when the plane was flying along the observer's line of sight. The presence of 
planes in the vicinity at the time, however, was not established. 

The next morning it was learned that at least two other persons observed the UFOs at midnight and 12:42 a.m. The rancher 
telephoned the UFO officer at Castle Air Force Base about 30 mi. west of Coarsegold. The officer declared that no aircraft from the 
base were aloft at the time of the sighting and promised that the sighting would be investigated and appropriate action taken. 

Since the presence of aircraft as a possible explanation of UFOs had been denied by the local air base, Mr. Wadsworth arranged to 
observe the UFO activity from the vantage point of the highest fire lookout tower in the area. The tower afforded an excellent view of 
the valley area below. The observers were equipped with cameras, binoculars, compass, and other field-kit items, and maintained 
two-way radio contact with the rancher for coordination of observations. 

At midnight one orange light after another appeared over the valley. The lights, observed simultaneously by the project investigator 

[[96]] 



and a NICAP member at the tower and by the rancher at his house, appeared to brighten, dim, go out completely, reappear, hover, 
and move back and forth. Sometimes two lights would move together for a few moments and then separate. Only point source lights 
were observed, and there was no sound. The visible paths of the lights were not continuous. The lights would repeatedly go out, to 
reappear elsewhere or not at all. At times they became so dim as to be almost impossible to follow with binoculars. At other times 
they appeared to hover, flare up, then go out completely. The rancher believed the lights flared up in response to signals flashed at 
them with a spotlight, and it was true that many times when he flashed there followed a flare up of the UFOs. Mr. Wadsworth felt, 
however, that this was a coincidence, since the lights exhibited frequent flare-ups independently of signals. This behavior continued for 
about 1 .5 hr. 

From the higher vantage point of the tower it was possible to determine a general pattern of movement that was not apparent from 
below, since the pattern's northern most end was not within the ranchers field of view. 

Mr. Wadsworth concluded that these lights, and the similar ones of the previous night, not withstanding assertions to the contrary from 
the base UFO officer, must be aircraft operating out of Castle Air Force Base. Careful observations through binoculars of the extreme 
northern end of the pattern had revealed lights moving along what must have been a runway lifting off, circling southwards, and 
following the behavior pattern previously observed before returning to land at a northern location coinciding with that of Castle AFB. 

The rancher was skeptical of this identification. The following night he drove with Mr. Wadsworth toward the air base. En route, more 
orange lights appeared as before, but through binoculars these could now be identified as aircraft. As they approached the base, they 
could plainly see landings and take-offs in progress. 

[[97]] 



Subsequently it was learned that most of the night-flying at Castle AFB involved tankers and B-52s in practice aerial refueling 
operations. Castle AFB is a training center for mid-air refueling with 400 to 500 sorties launched from the base each month, both day 
and night. Flight schedules from the base, obtained later, showed planes scheduled to be in the air at the times the UFOs were 



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observed. The planes carried large spotlights which were switched on and off repeatedly. This accounted for the observed flare-ups 
and disappear-reappear phenomena. The apparent hovering was due to the fact that part of the flight pattern was on a heading 
toward Coarsegold. Closings followed by separations were the actual refueling procedures. The absence of sound was accounted for 
by distance, and the color variation, orange to white, by variable haze scattering of the light. 

Maps obtained from Castle AFB show flight patterns for these operations wholly consistent with the sightings. Descriptions of lighting 
configurations of the tankers and bombers also were consistent with this identification. 

While these sightings were not particularly impressive individually, being essentially lights in the night sky, the frequency of reports was 
sustained at a high level for nearly a year, and the observers had noted the UFOs occasionally since the fall of 1 960. Observations 
were widespread and attracted much attention. The phenomenon seemed strange to the observers, defying simple explanation. 
Although the stimulus was conventional aircraft, the aircraft behavior, lighting, and flight paths presented an unconventional 
appearance to witnesses who were not familiar with inflight refueling practice. 

Prior to the Colorado project investigation none of the observers had driven to the airbase while sightings were occurring to check the 
aircraft hypothesis. This was true in part because 

[[98]] 



the rancher had called the air base on several occasions to report sightings, and had received misleading information several times to 
the effect that the sightings could not be accounted for by planes from that base. On one occasion, Mr. Wadsworth took the telephone 
to hear this information conveyed to the rancher. 

It should have been simple enough for representatives from Castle AFB to explain to inquiring citizens that the sightings were of 
practice refueling operations, and to identify the UFOs as aircraft from their base. Why was this not done? Was the Public Information 
Office at Castle AFB actually not aware of the activities of its own base? Was misinformation released deliberately? If base 
representatives investigated the reports of UFOs and were not able to explain the sightings, the UFO report should have been sent to 
Project Blue Book at Wright-Patterson AFB and to the University of Colorado. The project had received no such report. Had Project 
Blue Book? If not, why not? 

It is Air Force practice not to investigate reports of UFOs which are described merely as lights in the sky, particularly lights near an air 
base, and such reports need not be fonA/arded to Blue Book. In the Coarsegold sightings, however, according to the rancher and his 
wife, their reports had been investigated by officers from Castle AFB and the UFOs had remained unidentified. Thus, the reports 
should have been fonA/arded to Blue Book. 

Blue Book files yielded a single report on this series of sightings, describing the Castle AFB officers' interview with the ranchers wife 
after the rancher had reported numerous sightings by himself and neighbors during the two week period starting 9 October, 1 966. 
(The rancher was absent when Castle AFB officers investigated his report.) The report to Blue Book stated, "Officers who interviewed 

Mrs. can offer no explanations as to what those individuals have been sighting. Descriptions do not compare with any known 

aircraft activity or capability." 

[[99]] 



The file also carried a notation that Castle AEB was to fonA/ard to Blue Book information required in AFR 80-1 7, but this information 
had not been received; therefore, the case was being carried as "insufficient data." There was no evidence of any follow-up or further 
effort to get the information. 

What were the UFO descriptions which did not, in the view of investigating officers, compare with any known aircraft activity or 
capability? The housewife's description of what she and others had seen, as recorded by the interviewing officers, referred to 
pulsating and glowing lights varying between shades of white, red and green occasionally remaining stationary on a nearby ridge and 
capable of moving in any direction at greatly variable speeds, generally exceeding that of jets observed in the area. In particular, she 
once noted a vertical ascent at a very rapid speed. On one occasion, her husband was able to distinguish a rectangular-shaped 
object with very bright lights at the corners. 

The description contained other references to appearance and motion. However, it is obvious that, when taken literally and without 
allowance for common errors in perception and cognition and without allowance for subjective interpretations, the descriptions, as the 
officers stated, did not conform with aircraft capability. Failure to make such allowance left the sightings unidentified. 

F. NON-EVENTS 

Two types of non-events received brief attention of our field teams. One involved predicted events revealed to us by persons claiming 
special psychic and communication powers. The other involved claimed UFO events at Air Force bases. 

Predictions of UFO landings and close appearances were received from several sources (e.g. Case 19). One or two such psychic 
predictions were checked. The predicted flying saucer failed to materialize. 

One non-event of the second type is presented as Case 30. Others were recorded only as internal project memoranda, and are not 

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presented as case reports. In each instance, conflicting information was received, by this project. The initial information that an UFO 
event had occurred sometimes reached us as a rumor. A phone call to the Air Base UFO Officer or to the reported internal source of 
the information yielded confirmation that an event that should be of interest to a UFO study had occurred, but further information would 
have to be obtained through official channels. Unless such confirmation was obtained, the information, although received from a 
source which was usually reliable, was rejected as rumor. 

In Case 30 , a civilian employee at an air base in California, contacted by telephone regarding a rumored sighting, confirmed that an 
UFO event had occurred at that base, and that a report of the event had passed across his desk and had been sent on to proper 
authorities. Those authorities, contacted with difficulty by telephone, insisted that no UFO event occurred at that base on or near that 
date. The employee, when contacted again later for additional information, replied only that he had been told to "stay out of that." 

Conflicting information regarding a fast-moving radartrack which was claimed to be unidentified and later "classified" similarly leaves 
nothing for study when official notification is received that there was no such event at the given time and place. 

In one instance, the base UFO officer had no knowledge of a supposed UFO alert at his base on a given date and time. According to 
our information, jet interceptors alerted to scramble after a UFO were rolled out armed with rockets, taxied to the runway, but did not 
take off. The UFO officer, however, realized that such an event would have involved fighter craft at his base which are under a different 
command than the SAC command which he represented. Air Defense Command personnel could have an UFO report, the officer 
indicated, without telling SAC personnel about it. He then checked with the fighter defense squadron stationed at this SAC base, 
talking with people who were on duty at the time of the rumored event. He reported to us that there was an alert at the indicated date 
and time 

[[101]] 



and that fighters were deployed to the runway ready to scramble. This action was taken on orders from the squadron's headquarters at 
another base. The alert to scramble was said to be definitely not UFO-related but any other information regarding the cause of the 
alert would have to come from that headquarters. Further inquiry, through Pentagon channels, elicited only a denial that there had been 
an alert to that particular fighter squadron on the given date. In the absence of some independent source of information, we had no 
means of determining whether or not there was an alert and, if so, whether or not it was in fact triggered by the report of an unidentified 
flying object. 

BACK TO TOP 

8. Remarks and Recommendations: 

Instances in which there was less than full cooperation with our study by elements of the military services were extremely rare. Our field 
teams invariably were cordially received and given full cooperation by members of the services. When air bases were visited, the 
base commander himself often took personal interest in the investigation, and made certain that all needed access and facilities were 
placed at our disposal. 

Field teams observed marked difference in the handling of UFO reports at individual air bases. At some bases, the UFO officer 
diligently checked each report received. On the other hand, at one base, which we visited to learn what a local Air Force investigation 
had revealed regarding a series of UFO sightings in the area, we found that none had been conducted, nor was one likely to be. 
Sighting reports received at the base by telephone, including one we knew to have been reported by the wife of a retired Naval officer, 
resulted in partial completion of a standard sighting form by the airman who received the call. This fragmentary information was then 
filed. The UFO officer argued that such reports contained too little information for identification of what was seen. He insisted that the 
information was insufficient to warrant his sending them to Project Blue Book. There was no apparent attempt to get more 

[[102]] 



information. In this instance, what the woman had seen was later identified by interested civilians as a flare drop from an Air Force 
plane. 

While Air Force cooperation with our field teams was excellent and commendable, the teams frequently encountered situations in 
which air base public relations at the local level left much to be desired. 

Official secrecy and classification of information were seldom encountered by project investigators. In the few instances when secrecy 
was known to be involved, the classified reports were reviewed and found to contain no significant information regarding UFOs. 

Reviewing the results of our field investigations, one must note the consistent erosion of information contained in the initial report. 
Instead of an accumulation of evidence to support a claim of the sighting of an unusual flying vehicle, erosion of claimed supporting 
evidence to the vanishing point was a common investigative experience. As shown by examples in the above discussion, this was true 
of both current and older cases. As an investigation progressed, the extraordinary aspects of the sighting became less and less 
dominant, and what was left tended to be an observation of a quite ordinary phenomenon. 

Current sightings which we investigated and left unresolved were often of the same general character as those resolved. The 
inconclusiveness of these investigations is felt to be a result of lack of information with which to work, rather than of a strangeness 
which survived careful scrutiny of adequate information. In each current report in which the evidence and narrative that were presented 
were adequate to define what was observed, and in which the defined phenomenon was not ordinary - that is, each observation that 



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could be explained only in terms of the presence of a flying vehicle apparently representing an alien culture - there were invariably 
discrepancies, flaws, or contradictions in the narrative and evidence which cast strong doubt upon the physical reality of the event 
reported. 

[[103]] 



Of the current cases involving radar observations, one remained particularly puzzling after analysis of the information, since 
anomalous propagation and other common explanations apparently could not account for the observation (see Section III, Chapter 5 
and Case 21). 

While the current cases investigated did not yield impressive residual evidence, even in the narrative content, to support an hypothesis 
that an alien vehicle was physically present, narratives of past events, such as the 1 966 incident at Beverly, Mass., (Case 6), would fit 
no other explanation if the testimony of witnesses is taken at full face value. The weight one should place on such anecdotal 
information might be determined through psychological testing of witnesses; however, advice given us by psychologists at the 
University of Colorado Medical Center indicated that such testing would be of questionable significance if done as long as a year or 
two after the event. Since we had no such impressive cases among more recent sightings, the opportunity for significant psychological 
testing of witnesses in such cases was not presented. Depending upon the weight given to old anecdotal information it permits one to 
support any conclusion regarding the nature of UFOs that the individual wishes to draw. 

If UFO sighting reports are to be checked and studied, this should be done as soon as possible after the event, before witnesses' 
stories become crystallized by retelling and discussion. Such field investigation, undertaken on any scale for any purpose, should be 
done by trained investigators. The Coarsegold incident described above exemplifies the futility of an investigation which does not take 
into account subjective and perceptual considerations, as well as knowledge of events occurring in and above the atmosphere. The 
experience of seeing the planet Venus as a UFO that trips a magnetic UFO-detector, chases police cars at 70 mph, flies away from 
aircraft, changes size and shape drastically, lands about ten mi. from a farmhouse, and descends to 500 ft. above a car and lights up 
the inside of the 

[[104]] 



vehicle; of seeing a plastic dry cleaners' bag, of sufficient size to cover a single garment, as a UFO 75 ft. long and 20 ft. wide when 
only 30 ft. away; of seeing rows of windows in planets and in burning pieces of satellite debris which have re-entered the atmosphere, 
of seeing the starSirius as an UFO which spews out glowing streams of red and green matter; seeing aircraft lights as flying saucers 
because the observer could not believe there are that many airplanes flying around her town; or other experiences of this general type 
are ones with which an effective investigator must be familiar. 

It is obvious that not all UFO reports are worthy of investigation. What kinds of reports should be investigated? Persons who have 
lengthy experience working with UFO reports give varying answers to this question. NICAP discards unsubstantiated tales of rides in 
flying saucers, on the basis that their investigators have found no evidence to support these claims but have found considerable 
evidence of fraud (NICAP 19). Air Force practice is to neglect reports of mere lights in the sky, particularly around air bases or civil 
landing fields, for experience has shown the UFOs in such reports to be lights of aircraft or other common lighted or reflecting objects. 
Both Dr. J. Allen Hynek, scientific consultant to the Air Force on UFOs, and Dr. Peter M. Millman (1968), who is presently in charge of 
the handling of UFO reports in Canada and has had an active interest in UFO reports for nearly 20 years, have said they do not favor 
any field investigation of single-observer sightings because of the difficulty in deriving useful scientific information from such reports. 

Such policies and recommendations have grown out of much experience and practical considerations. Their authors are very much 
aware of the fact that a rare event certainly might be witnessed by a single observer. It also is obvious that if an extraterrestrial 
intelligence were assumed to be present, there is no logical reason to assume that it would not or did not make contact with a human 
being. Yet those who have worked with UFO reports for decades with 

[[105]] 



a conscious attempt to be objective have encountered so many nonproductive reports Of certain types that they have concluded that 
those classes of reports are not worth the effort of field investigation. 

Our own field experience leads this writer to question the value of field investigations of any UFO reports other than those which 

a. offer a strong likelihood that information of value regarding meteors, satellites, optics, atmospheric properties, electrical 
phenomenal or other physical or biological phenomena would be generated by the investigation; 

b. present clear indication of a possible threat to a nation or community whether in the form of international or intra-national 
hostilities, physical or biological contamination of environment, panic, or other emotional upheaval; or 

c. are of interest as sources of information regarding the individual and collective needs and desires of human beings. 

If there were an observation of a vehicle which was actually from an alien culture, the report of this observation certainly would deserve 
the fullest investigation. Our experience indicates that, unless the sighting were of a truly spectacular and verifiable nature, such a 
report would be buried in hundreds or thousands of similar reports triggered by ordinary earthly phenomena. While a large fraction of 
these reports could be discarded after establishment of the earthly cause, the report of interest would remain buried in others which 
contained too little evidence for identification, and the report itself probably would not be distinguishable from them. For this reason. 



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this writer would not recommend field investigations of routine UFO reports if the intent of that investigation is to determine whether or 
not an alien vehicle was physically present. A verifiable report of a spectacular event, such as an actual landing of an alien vehicle, 
conceivably could thus be missed by neglect; however, this is unlikely, since such a report would probably be so unusual in character 
as to attract immediate attention. 

[[106]] 



BACK TO TOP 

References 

Edwards, F. Flying Saucers Here and Now, Lyie Stuart: N.Y., 1967. 

Hall, R.H. The UFO Evidence, NICAP, publication: Washington D.C., 1964. 

Kohl, Mrs. L. Reference Librarian, Great Falls Public Library, private communication. 

Millman, P.M. Personal communication dated 8 July 1968. 

BACK TO TOP 
[[107]] 



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Chapter 2 

Analysis of UFO Photographic Evidence 
William K. Hartmann 



1. 


Introduction 


2. 


Selection of Cases 


3. 


Sources of Data 


4. 


Hidden Data 


5. 


Quality of UFO Photoaraphic Data 


6. 


Natural Phenomena Photographed as UFOs 


7. 


Fabrications 


8. 


Techniques of Analysis 


9. 


Review and Summary 



10. Conclusions 
References 
Plates 1 -12 
Barra de Tijuca Plates 

BACK to Contents 



1. Introduction 

The first reported photograph of a UFO after the Arnold sighting of 24 June 1947, was made on 4 July 1947 in Seattle, Washington. 
(Ruppelt, 1956, p.32) The object was identified as a weather balloon. This first photograph is typical of the photographic evidence that 
has accrued since: It accompanied a "wave" of reports and was inconclusive in establishing the existence of any extraordinary aircraft. 

Although photographic evidence, in contrast to verbal testimony, might be considered "hard" data, experience has indicated that one 
cannot assume that a photograph of an airborne disk is more credible than a verbal report. Even if it were true that cameras never lie, 
photographers sometimes do. A photograph may be more interesting than a verbal account; indeed, if we knew that "flying saucers" 
existed, the best documented photographs would be extremely valuable in establishing their properties. But in the absence of proof of 
the existence of such aircraft, we are concerned at this stage with the credibility of reports. 

The most convincing case of photographic evidence would involve not only multiple photographs but multiple photographers, unrelated 
and unknown to each other, a considerable distance apart (preferably tens of miles), whose photographs demonstrably show the 
same UFO. No such case is known to the Colorado project. 

The Colorado project studies of UFO photographs are based on this approach. The question that is central to the study is: does the 
report have any probative value in establishing the existence of flying sai/cers? A question definitely secondary in importance (and 
conducive to unproductive arguments) is: What is the final explanation of each photograph? 

[[108]] 



That is to say, our principal task is to examine UFO photographic evidence that is alleged to indicate the existence of "flying saucers," 
and make a judgment as to whether the evidence supports this assertion. Photographic evidence is peculiarly open to the contention 
that one must establish what is shown, before one can say that it is not a "flying saucer." This argument is invalid. It is not necessary to 
prove that an object is an orange before establishing that it is not a mushroom. Exhaustive attempts to establish the identity of each 
object or image recorded were therefore not made. Yet possible interpretations were suggested in many cases where it was 
concluded (for one reason or another) that there was no evidence of an unusual phenomenon. 

BACK TO TOP 

2. Selection of Cases 

Time and funds did not permit exhaustive investigation of all interesting cases. About 90% of the cases could be assigned second or 
third priority upon inspection or brief study. Such a priority rating was based on a judgment that the case had little potential value in 
establishing the existence of "flying saucers." The remaining 10% of the cases were of first priority and required intensive study, some 
as much as a month of full-time effort. A "residual" of about 2% to 5% of all cases remained unexplained after this process. It is such a 
residual that is the core of the UFO problem (both in photographic cases and more generally). 

The O'Brien committee (see Appendix A) suggested that the proposed universitystudy of UFOs give emphasis to current reports. 
However, certain older, "classic" cases from the last two decades contain the most significant photographic evidence. Neglect of 
them would justifiably be open to criticism. Hence, the present photographic study includes both new cases and independent 
reevaluations of older cases. 

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BACK TO TOP 

3. Sources of Data 

1. PROJECT BLUE BOOK 

Material on a numberof older cases was obtained from the Aerial Phenomena Office (Project Blue Book) at Wright-Patterson Air 
Force Base, Ohio. In many cases, these files were not sufficiently organized or complete to permit an intelligent evaluation of the 
report. Further investigation was carried out in these instances. 

2. APR0 

Cordial relations were maintained with APRO, and through the kind assistance of Mr. and Mrs. J. Lorenzen much first-or second- 
generation photographic material was made available. 

3. NICAP 

Contacts for the exchange of information on photographic cases were established with NICAP in the spring of 1 967, and files on a 
number of cases were made available to us at that time. 

4. J.E.MCDONALD 

The help of Dr. McDonald, Institute for Atmospheric Physics, University of Arizona, who conducted a study of UFO phenomena 
concurrently with this study, was invaluable in bringing a number of cases to our attention. 

5. OTHER 

Many individuals submitted reports directly to us and other recent cases were investigated by our field teams. Certain news 
organizations, in particular BBC, Time-Life, Inc., and United Press International were very helpful in obtaining material. Dr. R.M.L. 
Baker, Computer Sciences, Inc., kindly made available to us his files on the Great Falls, Tremonton, and Vandenberg AFB motion 
pictures. Dr. J. Allen Hynek, of Northwestern University also rendered valued assistance in providing materials for analysis. 

BACK TO TOP 

4. Hidden Data 

The problem of hidden data is characteristic of the study of UFO phenomena. Only about 12% of those persons who have seen flying 
objects they cannot identify actually report the sighting (Section III, chapter 7). The indication that we are aware of only a small fraction 
of all sightings of 

[[110]] 



UFOs and the experience of investigators in uncovering photographs suggest that we have considerably less than half the 
photographs considered by their owners to show UFOs. Of the photographs that may have a bearing on the existence of extraordinary 
aircraft\i\/e probably have a larger fraction, since they are more interesting to their owners. The distinction is that an UFO photo may 
show just a point source of light, or an amorphous blob, while an alleged "flying saucer" photo must exhibit some detail. But even in 
these cases, the fraction may well be less than half. 

Reasons for the existence of hidden data include: 

1 . apathy on the part of the photographer, 

2. ignorance of what to do with the photographs, 

3. fear of ridicule, 

4. fear of becoming involved with authorities in situations involving securityor military restrictions (e.g. Ft. Belvoir case), 

5. fear of restrictions in JANAP-146. 

It is also possible that data, generated by various technical recording equipment, such as all-sky auroral cameras, or the Prairie 
Network are another "hidden" source (Section VI, Chapter 9). 

Finally, there is another class of "hidden data": sightings supposed to have occurred on various military bases but allegedly 
suppressed by military or intelligence authorities. We have heard many allegations of such cases. Usually they were not detailed 
enough to be fruitful, and in only one case was it possible for us, even with the cooperation of the Air Force, to locate any alleged 
photographs of UFOs. Such allegations of suppression may typically arise as a result of incidents like that described in Case 51 . In 
this instance a bright UFO was recorded by several tracking cameras at Vandenberg AFB. The UFO was described as "streaking up 
past" a rocket during a launch. Project investigators recovered the films in question without difficulty. Study of them conclusively 
identified the UFO as the planet Venus. Meanwhile, however, the story had reached the rumor stage, and it is likely that belief that an 
UFO had paced a rocket was widespread as a result. 



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BACK TO TOP 

5. Quality of UFO Photographic Data 

The statistical properties or the quantity of photographic data are less important than the content of a single case that might strongly 
indicate the existence of a hitherto unrecognized phenomenon. Nonetheless, it is a part of the problem that most of the data are of 
very low quality. A glance through typical UFO periodicals and books illustrates this. Many of the photographs are blurred, usuallydue 
to poor focus. Many are badly processed or light-struck. Many, usually because they are fabrications made with small models too 
close to the camera, show, against sharp backgrounds, objects that are hopelessly out of focus. Many photographs do not give the 
subjective impression of a metallic or luminous entity flying through the air at some moderate distance from the observers. 

More specifically a large part of the data is inappropriate for analysis. Night-time photographs that show either point sources or 
amorphous blobs with no background or foreground fall in this category. Daytime photographs of objects of very small angular size are 
also of little value. A large number of reports consist of only one photograph, and single photographs are of much less 
photogrammetric value than sets. 

Damage to negatives frequently renders them valueless for investigative purposes. An investigator visiting one witness found a baby 
playing on the floor with the negatives. (McMinnville, Case 46) A crucial spot on another set of negatives was burned out by a dropped 
match, assertedly by accident. (North Eastern, Case 53) Loss of original negatives or prints is reported, as in Santa Ana (Case 52). 

Accurate descriptive testimony, even in photographic cases is also difficult to obtain. For example, a witness described an UFO as 
"half as large as the moon"; his photograph and sketch show a disk having an angulardiameter of about 15°. 

[[112]] 



BACK TO TOP 

6. Natural Phenomena Photographed as UFOs 

A number of natural phenomena, well known in various branches of the scientific community,but little known to the general public, have 
been reported as UFOs. Three classes of these are meteorological, astronomical, and photographic. 

Plate 1 shows an excellent example of a lenticular cloud. These thin clouds are usually related to irregularities in ground elevation 
(hence classified as "orographic" clouds), and sometimes appear stacked, one above the other, like a pile of saucers. A number have 
appeared in UFO reports. 

Plate 2 illustrates a sub-sun, produced by reflection of the sun off a laminar arrangement of flat ice crystals (Minnaert, 1954, p. 203). 
The Gulfstream aircraft case is tentatively attributed to a sub-sun (see Case 54). 

Plate 3 is a time exposure of the moon, showing trailing due to the earth's rotation. The explanation of such a photograph of the moon 
is obvious to anyone familiar with astronomical photographs. Yet a similar picture showing the trails of the moon and Venus was 
widely printed in newspapers across the country in March 1 966. The trails were described as two UFOs. 

Although aurora displays can produce colored, fast-moving arcs of light of various shapes and brightnesses, it does not appear that 
auroras are involved in a substantial number of UFO reports. No UFO photographs were attributed to auroras in this study. 

A number of purely photographic effects can result in UFO-like images. Two classes are very common. The first is film damage. 
Creases or unusual pressure produce dark images on negatives and bright spots on prints made from them. Chemical damage 
during development can produce either bright or dark spots on negatives or prints. The second class is internal reflections, or lens 
flares produced byunwanted light paths throughthe camera optics. Many widely circulated UFO photographs are unquestionably the 
result of lens flares. Symmetry about a line connecting the flare to a bright light source in the photograph is usually the clue to 
identification of a lens flare photograph. 

[[113]] 



Plates 4 and 5 show examples of reported "UFOs" identified as film defects, and Plate 6 shows an example of a lens flare (see also 
Menzeland Boyd, 1963). 

Manmade objects such as balloons and rocket exhaust trails especially illuminated by a low sun during twilight have also produced 
many UFO reports (N.M. aircraft Case 55). A number of photographs of bright, nearly stationary point sources in a day light or twilight 
sky may be balloons. 

BACK TO TOP 

7. Fabrications 

I 



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Fabrications represent a delicate problem. Nowhere in the discussion of photographic cases have I conclusively labeled one as a 
hoax, although I have shown that this hypothesis is entirely satisfactory in a number of cases. 

Hoaxes are not new in UFO investigations. The Maury Island (Wash.) incident of 1947 has been called "the first, possibly the second- 
best, and the dirtiest hoaxin UFO history." (Ruppelt, 1956). Photographs allegedly taken by one of the witnesses to the incident had 
been "misplaced," he said. Eventually, he, a companion, and an "investigator" hired by a magazine publisher admitted that the 
incident was a fabrication. Before the case was closed, much money and time had been spent, and two Air Force investigating 
officers had been killed when their Air Force B-25 crashed during the inquiry into the "sighting." According to Ruppelt, the federal 
government considered prosecuting the hoaxers, but later abandoned the idea. 

Often a photograph apparently fabricated to amuse friends results in a full-blown UFO report. The friends take the photograph 
seriously and tell others. Eventually a local newspaper prints both picture and story. From there it may be distributed nationally by the 
press wire services, or one of the private UFO investigating organizations such as APRO or NICAP. In view of the demonstrable 
avocational interest of some persons, especially young persons, in producing "flying saucer photos," one must be especially wary of 
any alleged UFO photo that could have been easily fabricated under the circumstances. 

Fabrications may be thought of in two broad categories: "physical," of a real object, which is then alleged to be an UFO; or "optical," 

[[114]] 



the producing by optical and other means of an image falsely alleged to be a real physical entity at the scene. Retouched negatives, 
double exposures, and superimposed images are examples of the latter. Generally, physical fabrications meet tests of consistence in 
lighting and shadow but fail tests of size or distance. Most commonly, photographs of models are out of focus, or have inconsistent 
focus between the "UFO" and other objects at its alleged distance. Optical fabrications, on the other hand, may show inconsistencies 
in lighting between background and UFO details, or in the case of montages, image flaws. 

Plate 7 is an example of the simplest and most common type of physical fabrication - a disk-shaped model thrown into the air by hand. 
Plates 8 and 9 are examples of more complex fabrications a model suspended from a string and a night-time photograph of a hand- 
held model illuminated by flashlight. These three photographs were made by the writer. Plates 8 and 9 were made for comparison with 
the Santa Ana and North East UFO photographs (Cases 52 and 53). Plates 10, 1 1 , and 12 are examples of optical fabrications made 
by the writer. 

BACK TO TOP 

8. Techniques of Analysis 

Photographic evidence acquires probative value only when known natural phenomena can be ruled out and it can be shown that a 
fabrication was not easy or convenient. 

Early in the study, it was decided not to select or analyze each case by a predetermined routine. Rather, cases were studied in terms 
of their individual characteristics. Diagnostic characteristics included such properties as 

1 . potential stereoscopy, 

2. reports by multiple visual witnesses, 

3. cloud motions, 

4. use of haze to define distance, 

5. accurate altitude and azimuth data, 

6. structure and shape of object, 

7. geometry of motion, and 

8. geometry of lighting and shadows. 

Initial selection of cases to be studied was also influenced by the degree to which other students of UFO phenomena regarded them 
as significant. 

In the course of the investigation, analysis of the foregoing characteristics of UFO photographs resulted in our developing a set of 
protocols useful in the assigning priorities to UFO photographs 

[[115]] 

for study. These results are described in section 10 of this chapter. 

The cases selected for investigation were analyzed as completely as possible. The techniques are demonstrated in the case reports 
themselves (Part IV, Chapter 3). 

BACK TO TOP 



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9. Review and Summary 

The project gathered information on 35 photographic cases that occurred in 1 966-68. These may be assumed to be a more or less 
representative cross-section of photographic cases. Of this 35-case current cross-section only two, Calgary and North Pacific (Cases 
57 and 56), were initially selected as first priority cases. On investigation, neither case yielded data deemed to be of probative value. 
Second priority cases among the 1966-68 group were Camarillo (identified probably as airborne debris), Gulfstream Aircraft (sub- 
sun), and Sonora (airborne debris). Many of the remaining 1966-68 cases of lower priority had low strangeness or insufficient data for 
analysis. 

The final disposition of the 35 cases is summarized in Table 1. The figures are thought to be representative of UFO photographic 
cases. That is, roughly one quarter are fabrications, one quarter are misidentifications, a quarter have such low information content as 
to be unfit for analysis, another quarter are clearly recorded but lack sufficient data for analysis. The residual cases that are genuinely 
puzzling constitute at most a very small percentage. 

In addition to these current cases, 18 older reports, including some by advocates of the existence of "flying saucers," were also 
studied. 

Of the 35 cases only those in which the nature of the evidence or the credentials of the witness were judged to have the highest a pr/or/ 
probability of producing evidence for an unknown phenomenon were assigned first priority for study. Table 2 shows the classifications 
finally assigned to these first priority cases. Of them some 60% were found to be identifiable or to lack probative value. Two cases 
(continued on p. 119) 

[[116]] 



TABLE 1 

Classification of 35 Current Photograpiiic Cases 



Evidence for probable fabrication 9 

Misidentified natural or man-made phenomena 7 

Insufficient data for analysis (night-time shots, point sources, amorphous blobs, etc.) 12 

Inconclusive data (unidentified unusual objects shown, but little or no analysis possible; possible 7 
fabrications) 

Unidentified after analysis (real objects with high strangeness) 0 



35 



[[117]] 

TABLE 2 

Classification of 11 First-Priority Cases 



Inconsistencies between testimony and photos, internal inconsistencies in photos, or Barra da Tijuca 
evidence for fabrication 

North Eastern 
North Pacific 
Santa Ana 
Fort Belvoir 
Vandenburg AFB 
Tremonton 

Not amenable to analysis Calgary 
Unidentified after analysis (indication of real objects with high strangeness). Great Falls 



Identified natural or man-made phenomena 



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conceivable but unlikely misidentification of birds, aircraft, etc. ' 
Clearly either a fabrication or an extraordinary object ("flying saucer") McMinnville 



[[118]] 



survived analysis: Great Falls (motion pictures of two bright light sources difficult to reconcile with known aircraft) and McMinnville (two 
photographs of a saucer-shaped craft). 

Since the selection of older, "classic" cases was limited, it is probable that the "residual" of unexplained photographic cases could be 
increased well beyond these three cases if there were additional research. Whether or not anything of probative value would be found 
is a matter of speculation. 

[[119]] 



BACK TO TOP 

10. Conclusions 

Our experience also leads us to conclude that UFO photographic cases can best be selected for study and analyzed on the basis of 
the following criteria: 

1 . Subjective evaluation: Do various photographic factors (focus, clarity, sharpness, contrast) and the testimony combine to 
make the case appear credible? Does it have potential in providing probative evidence for the reality of an unusual 
phenomenon? 

2. Known phenomena: Is any known phenomenon rationally acceptable as an explanation of the observation? Phenomena 
considered must be based on a wide experience with meteorological, astronomical, optical, and photographic effects. Can the 
report be a case of mistaken interpretation? 

3. Fabrications: Can the case be accepted as having been made in good faith? Are there any signs of tampering with the 
negative? (Are the negatives or original prints available?) Do the negatives represent a continuous sequence? Are focus, 
sharpness and other characteristics quantitatively in accord with the alleged sightings? Are light and shadows internally 
consistent on each photo? 

[[120]] 



4. Consistency with testimony: In addition to the internal evidence of the photographs themselves, are the photographs 
consistent with the witness testimony? Is lighting consistent with alleged time and direction of sighting? Are time intervals 
between photos consistent with testimony? 

5. Physical and geometric tests: What peculiar characteristics suggest tests? Is the object in front of or behind any landscape 
features? Is contrast and focus consistent with alleged distance? What can be learned from motions and time intervals? Can the 
flight path be estimated from the sequence of positions and angular sizes? 

The Colorado study of UFO photographic evidence failed to disclose conclusive evidence of the existence of "flying saucers." Nor did 
it, of course, establish that such objects do not exist. I believe that it is significant, however, that a number of the most widely heralded 
"classic" cases were either identified or were shown to be of little probative value in the present study. This finding suggests that much 
of the case for the reality of "flying saucers" has been built on very inadequate research into widely publicized reports. Some 
examples of such cases, the reality of which has been rejected after intensive study by the project, are summarized briefly below: 

Barra da Tijuca, Brazil, (Case 48): A magazine photographer and a reporter allegedly saw and made five photographs of a large 
disk that passed overhead. The photographic sequence shows the disk approaching (edge on) in the distance, and passing by in a 
credible series. A report on the case by O.T. Fontes, of Brazil, (APRO, 1961) "pronounce(s) them authentic" and purports to establish 

[[121]] 



their authenticity with "top-secret documents" from Brazilian Air Force files kept since 1951. The documents purport to demonstrate 
"the absolute impossibility of a hoax." Study of photographs enlarged from the APRO copies shows that the disk in the fourth 
photograph (Plate 30) clearly illuminated from the left, with bold shadows, hut a palm tree as well as other confused foliage on the 
hillside below appear to be illuminated from the right. The discrepancy was first pointed out by Menzel and Boyd (1963). 

North Eastern (Case 53): Two photographs show a bright, amorphous object that reportedly swept past four boys who were 
photographing the moon at night. The image on the photographs is strikingly suggestive of an out-of-focus plate-like object supported 
by a human arm and hand photographed by time-exposure. According to the original report, (NICAP, 1965) the "arm" was an invisible 



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gaseous discharge from the UFO. A photograph (Plate 9) that demonstrates how such an image can be fabricated was made by 
taping a plate to a small handle. The apparenttransparency of the "gaseous discharge" was simulated by moving the arm during the 
time exposure. In the light of such simple reproduction of these photographs, I have concluded that this case is of no probative value. 

Fort Belvoir, Va., (Case 50): Six exposures made on this Army base show a ring-shaped object being enveloped in a white, puffy 
cloud. The photographs were proclaimed as "First Published Photos of the Amazing Ring-Shaped UFO" (Rankow, 1967). Aides of 
the commanding officer at Fort Belvoir demonstrated to a project investigator that this was a vortex cloud generated by atomic bomb 
simulation demonstrations that were frequently carried out at the base some years ago. Positive identification was obtained. 

North Pacific (Case 57): Three boys in their back yard photographed a disk that allegedly passed overhead. The object was not 
reported by any other witnesses. The incident was given considerable publicity and the two photographs were published by APRO. In 
an 

[[122]] 



interview the boys stressed that they had accurately re-enacted the event and that the time interval between the two photographs was 
very short, about eight seconds; however, the cloud patterns were markedly different. Separately confronted with the marked 
discrepancy in cloud structure between the two photographs, the boys each said they could not account for it, though they reaffirmed 
the story of the sighting. The photographs cannot therefore be considered as satisfactory evidence for the existence of "flying 
saucers." 

Santa Ana, Caiif., (Case 52): A traffic engineer, of good reputation, with excellent references, and with experience as a former 
policeman, allegedly saw and made three photographs of a metallic disk and a fourth photograph of a vortex smoke ring allegedly left 
by the departing disk. Interruption of radio transmissions from his vehicle, reportedly associated with the presence of the disk, was 
confirmed by the engineer's supervisor. The series of photographs has been widely published and widely regarded as one of the best 
cases. Detailed investigation revealed several serious discrepancies. For example, a study of the weather data at surrounding 
stations indicates that an early morning cloud cover had entirely dissipated well before the report was made, yet the fourth photograph 
shows a background of moderately dense, gray clouds. Other circumstances surrounding these photographs reduce further their 
probative value. 

[[123]] 



In the course of my study I was able to simulate effectively the first three photographs by suspending a model by a thread attached to a 
rod resting on the roof of a truck and photographing it (Plate 8 ). Without assuming the truth or untruth of the witness' story, this has led 
me to conclude that the case is of little probative value. 

Vandenberg AFB, Caiif., (Case 51): Tracking films from a rocket launch show a bright object apparently rushing up past the rocket 
just after second stage ignition. The films were first described in a textbook (Baker, 1967). The film sequence was taken very seriously 
because several cameras in different locations simultaneously recorded the object. Interest in the case was heightened by its 
resemblance to a number of apocryphal accounts of UFOs pacing rockets. The Colorado project at once obtained the films through 
official channels. Tracking data showed that the rocket was moving toward the horizon past the calculated position of Venus at the 
time. 

To summarize conclusions relating to UFO photographs: 

1. About half of the photographic reports are clearly identifiable as known phenomena or can be demonstrated to contain internal 
geometric or other inconsistencies. 

2. About half can be ultimately classified as being inconclusive or presenting insufficient data to furnish probative evidence of an 
unknown phenomenon. Most single-witness cases must fall in the latter category. Most night-time photographs, point-source 
objects, and amorphous objects without background or foreground must be relegated to this category for lack of satisfactory 
quantitative tests that can be performed on them. 

3. A number of cases initially described publicly by UFO enthusiasts as representative of the strongest evidence for the reality of 
extraordinary aircraft were either conclusively identified as ordinary phenomena or shown to have serious internal 
inconsistencies. 

[[124]] 



4. The number of identified or fraudulent cases is irrelevant to the existence or non-existence of extraordinary objects or "flying 
saucers." 

5. A very small fraction of potentially identifiable and interesting photographic cases remain unidentified. 

Some conclusions relating to these residual photographic cases are: 

1. None of them conclusively establishes the existence of "flying saucers," or any extraordinary aircraft, or hitherto unknown 
phenomenon. For any of these cases, no matter how strange or intriguing, it is always possible to "explain" the observations, 
either by hypothesizing some extraordinary circumstance or by alleging a hoax. That is to say, none of the residual photographic 



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2. Some of the cases are sufficiently explicit that the choice is limited to the existence of an extraordinary aircraft or to a hoax. 

3. The residual group of unidentifieds is not inconsistent with the hypothesis that unknown and extraordinary aircraft have 
penetrated the airspace of the United States, but none yields sufficient evidence to establish this hypothesis. 

In summary, about 10% of the photographic cases can initially be selected as "first priority" cases, i.e. interesting and detailed enough 
to investigate. After investigation, there remains a small residual, of the order of 2% of all cases, that appears to represent well 
recorded but unidentified or unidentifiable objects that are airborne - i.e. UFOs. Yet there is insufficient evidence to assert that any one 
of these represents an unusual or extraordinary phenomenon. We find no conclusive evidence of unidentified aircraft or "flying 
saucers." The photographic data has been poorly presented in the past, and the frequency of hypothetical "flying saucers" appears 
much smaller than has been popularly assumed; it may be zero. The present data are compatible with, but do not establish either the 
hypothesis 

[[125]] 



that 

1. the entire UFO phenomenon is a product of misidentification, poor reporting, and fabrication or that 

2. a very small part of the UFO phenomenon involves extraordinary events. 

[[126]] 

BACK TO TOP 

References 

Baker, R. M., Jr. and Maud W. Makemson, An Introduction to Astrodynamics, N. Y.: Academic Press, 1967. 
Menzei, D. H. and Lyie G. Boyd, The World of Flying Saucers, Garden City, N. Y: Doubleday, 1963. 
Rankow, Ralph. "The Ring-Shaped UFO," Flying Saucers, No. 4, Fall, (1967). 
Ruppelt, F. J., The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, Garden City, N. Y: Doubleday, 1956. 

[[127]] 



BACK TO TOP 



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Chapter 3 
Direct Physical Evidence 
Roy Craig 



0. Introduction 

1 ■ Markings Allegedly Made By UFOs 

2. Material Allegedly Deposited by UFOs 

3. Parts of UFOs. or UFO Equipment 

4. Conclusion 
References 

BACK to Contents 



Several types of physical effects have been presented as evidence that an object of unusual nature had been present at a given 
location. Such effects consist of: 

1 . markings on ground, vegetation, or objects with which an UFO, as something from an UFO, reportedly made direct or indirect 
physical contact; 

2. material residue allegedly deposited from or by an UPO and 

3. articles or portions of articles manufactured by intelligent beings, but reportedly not produced by known cultures. 

A fourth known conceivable type of physical evidence, consisting of a non-earthly or captured "flying saucer," would be most 
impressive as evidence. The existence of this type of evidence has been suggested by some reporters, such as Moseley (1967), who 
reported the claim that a captured flying saucer was held at a military base in Ohio, and Allen (1959), who presented a photograph of 
a tiny humanoid creature and four adult Earth residents, claiming that the creature was a crewman of a saucer which crashed near 
Mexico City in 1950. During the course of this study, however, no indication was found that this fourth type of evidence has ever 
existed. 

BACK TO TOP 

1. Markings Allegedly Made By UFOs 

Claims of evidence of the first type are common. UFO reports contain numerous descriptions, often with supporting photographs of 
saucer "nests" - areas where soil, grass, cattails, or other vegetation had been flattened, burned, broken off, or blown away, allegedly 
by an UFO that landed or hovered there. The Lorenzens (1967) also have described six case; in which sets of circular or wedge- 
shape depressions 

[[128]] 



were allegedly made bythe landing legs of unidentified vehicles. A number of other cases of the landing-gear imprint type have been 
reported, including incidents at Presque Isle State Park, Pa., 31 July 1966; South Hill, Va., 23 April 1967; and Tucson, Ariz., 9 October 
1 967. These three cases were examined and analyzed by Project Blue Book. Hall (1 964) and others have listed other cases in which 
ground impressions are claimed as evidence that unknown physical objects had been present. Hall's listing also includes a half dozen 
"nest" reports, and a 13-ft. ring imprint of a general type earlier reported in a case described by Maney and Hall (1961). 

Reports of ring imprints are not uncommon. Four cases, involving ring imprints generally about 30 ft. in diameter and 6 - 12 in. wide 
were reported in August and September, 1967, in three different Canadian provinces. In Camrose, Alberta six different rings were 
reported. Photographs of the Camrose rings were received by this project for evaluation. 

Claims of the saucer nest type of evidence were made in a few of the current cases investigated bythe field teams (e. g. Cases 22, 
25, 38). In some cases, the "nest" seemed imaginary. In other cases, the reality of an imprint, of a type which conceivably could have 
been made by a large saucer or by a being from a saucer, was evident (as in Case 22 ). However, in all such cases, it was impossible 
to establish as factual the claims that the imprints actually were made by an extraordinary object or being. 

If the evidence displayed could have been the result of human or animal activity, or lightning or other natural events, the probability that 
it was so caused is much greater, in absence of independent evidence to the contrary, than the probability of its creation by an 
extraterrestrial vehicle or being: therefore, the burden of proof must lie with the person claiming a strange origin. 

[[129]] 



The independent evidence most frequently claimed is presence of unusual radioactivity at the site. In cases where such claims were 
checked by our field teams, ( 32 , 42) the claim was found to be untrue. In one case C 22 ), radioactive material was found to be 



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present by Canadian investigators and in other cases, (e. g. Fisherville, Va., 12-21-64) which could no longer be checked, testimony 
by persons other than the UFO observer supported a claim that the site was found to be radioactive. In such cases, however, if 
radioactive material actually were present, the possibility that it was placed there by humans cannot be ignored. If humans are known 
to have visited the site before official confirmation of presence of radioactive material has been made, and the material found is either 
a naturally occurring radioactive mineral or a commercially available luminous paint, the presence of this material serves to weaken 
any claim of strange origin of the markings. 

The existence of an imprint of odd shape or a circular area of crushed vegetation often can be established. Its mere existence does 
not prove, however, that the marking was made by a strange being or vehicle. Demonstration of a connection between such markings 
and strange objects has thus far not been accomplished. Attempts to establish such connection must still depend upon personal 
testimony. Generally, personal testimony includes the reported sighting of an UFO in the area of the discovered imprints or nest. Quite 
frequently, however, UFO origin of the markings is assumed, even though no UFO was seen in the area near the time the markings 
must have been made. This was true of the Camrose rings, whose appearance did not differ markedly from tracks left by wheels of 
farm vehicles. In case 38 "nests" were reportedly discovered in the forest just after the field team investigated a multitude of UFO 
reports in the region. The project sent photographs of these circular patches of forest damage to Dr. Carl E. Ostrom, Director of 
Timber Management Research, U. S. 

[[130]] 



Forest Service, for comment. Dr. Ostrom listed four natural causes of such patches of forest damage. He indicated that members of 
the Forest Service had observed similar damage in other regions under ecological conditions similar to those in the area in which 
these "saucer nests" were reported. Although UFOs had been reported in the general region, there again was no direct connection 
between them and the patches of timber damage, the existence of which could be accounted for by quite earthly processes. 

Generally there are no physical tests which can be applied to a claimed saucer landing site to prove the origin of the imprints. 
Occasionally, the degree of compaction of soil by UFO "landing legs" is presented as evidence that the force was extraordinary. 
However, if the compaction could have been achieved by a human with a sledge hammer, for example, compaction measurements 
are of little significance, since they do not yield information regarding the cause of compaction. Chemical tests of soil can sometimes 
be used to disprove a claim, but are not likely to support a claim of strange origin of markings, since there is no obvious reason to 
expect chemical alteration. For example, samples of soil from a golf course at Port Townsend, Wash, were submitted to this project 
for analysis (Case 1406P, 1074T, project files). One sample was taken from a burned area where an UFO, reportedly observed 
earlier by several youngsters, was assumed to have touched down. Comparison samples from unaffected areas nearby were also 
studied. Gas chromatography showed the existence of hydrocarbon residues in the sample from the burned area, indicating that 
gasoline or other hydrocarbon had been used to make this particular "saucer nest." An empty lighter fluid can was found in the area a 
few hundred yards away. 

BACK TO TOP 

2. Material Allegedly Deposited by UFOs 

An elusive material, called "angel hair" in UFO publications, is sometimes reported to have been deposited by UFOs. Seventeen 
cases involving "angel hair" were listed by Maneyand Hall (1961) for the 

[[131]] 



period 1952 through 1955. In fourteen there was an associated sighting reported of an UFO. The "angel hair" is described as a 
fibrous material which falls in large quantities, but is unstable and disintegrates and vanishes soon after falling. It has also been 
described as filaments resembling spider webs, floating down to earth, hanging from telephone wires and tree branches and forming 
candy-floss-like streamers. These streamers, which sometimes are reported to cover areas as large as 0.25 sq. mi., also are 
reported to vanish on touch, burn like cellophane when ignited, and sublime and disappear while under observation. A somewhat 
similar evanescent residue, described as a luminous haze or a misty, smokelike deposit, was reported in three cases discussed by 
the Lorenzens (1967), and "angel hair" cases are also described by Michel (1958), who suggested that the material be collected and 
preserved at low temperature for crystal structure study by X-ray diffraction. Hall (1964) has stated that many deposits of "angel's hair" 
have been nothing but cob-webs spun by ballooning spiders. On at least one occasion, he wrote, small spiders have actually been 
found in the material. In other cases, the composition or origin of the "angels hair" is uncertain. During the course of this study, one 
sample of dry white powder was submitted to the project for analysis. It had been collected from beneath the eaves of a house over 
which "angel hair" was reported to have settled, leaving a sticky deposit. (Project files 1406P, 1074T). Since the major cationic 
component of this powder was titanium, it was concluded that the powder was the residue of a commonly used house paint containing 
a titanium oxide pigment. Few recent UFO reports have involved material of the "angel hair" type. 

A second type of material often is assumed, because of the circumstances of its appearance, to have been dumped by UFOs. The 
material is commonly referred to as "space grass" and has appeared unexpectedly 

[[132]] 



in fields and yards after falling from the sky. Generally, no sighting of identified or unidentified objects is associated with the fall. The 
material is composed of metallic threads of lengths varying from a fraction of an inch to a footer more, generally with many threads 
intertwined into a loose mass. Typical material of this type is described by Keel (1967), who suggests that UFOs are using the earth 



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as a kind of garbage dump. Actually, "space grass" is aluminum "chaff' of the various sizes and types used by military aircraft to 
confuse tracking radar (see Section VI, Chapter 5). 

Samples of material sent to the project for analysis because of their assumed UFO association were most commonly "space grass." 
The first sample was received from observers of two "space ships" reported over Manhattan Beach, Calif., on 5 February 1957. The 
material appeared 24 hr. after the sighting and was reported to have been radioactive when found. It was not radioactive when 
received. Analysis demonstrated it to be 1 145 alloy bard aluminum foil chaff dipoles with both a slip and a stripe coating applied to 
the surface of the foil. Since the slip coating was color coded red, it could be identified as a product of the Foil Division of Revere 
Copper and Brass Incorporated, Brooklyn, N. Y. The company identified the chaff as its product. This chaff could have been dropped 
by aircraft. It also could have been carried aloft by sounding rockets or balloons, and released at high altitudes for radar tracking. It is 
certain, however, that this sample of "space grass," like other such samples submitted to the project for analysis, had a quite earthly 
origin, and was not deposited by vehicles of extra-terrestrial origin. 

BACK TO TOP 

3. Parts of UFOs, or UFO Equipment 

Frank Edwards (1 966) discusses three cases in which an UFO or part of an UFO is claimed to have been recovered: 

1 . a flying disc reported to have crashed on Spitzbergen Island in 1952 and to have been recovered, badly damaged but intact, by 
the NoHA/egian Air Force; 

[[133]] 



2. a 1 lb. fragment from a 2 ft. diameter glowing disk which was reportedly intercepted over Washington, D. C, in 1952; and 

3. a 3,000 lb. mass of "strange metal" found about 1 July 1 960, in the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, and considered by a 
Canadian UFO investigator to be possibly a portion of a very large interstellar device which came into this solar system at an 
unknown time in the past. 

Efforts have been made to determine to what degree any of these claims might be factual. In the Spitzbergen case, Mr. Finn Lied, 
Director, NonA/egian Defense Research Establishment, replied that the only articles he knew of having been recovered in NonA/ay 
have been traced back to rocket and satellite hardware. Mr. Tage Eriksson, of the Research Institute of National Defense, Sweden, 
replied that neither the Swedish Air Force nor the Research Institute of National Defense has at anytime taken part in an investigation 
of a crashed UFO in Spitzbergen or elsewhere. A U. S. Air Intelligence Information Report, dated 12 September 1952, revealed that 
the NoHA/egian government knew nothing of such an object. The story apparently was the work of a West German reporter. It first 
appeared in the German newspaper "Berliner Volksblatt" for 9 July 1952. The original newspaper report stated definitely that the silver 
discus-like body was 48.88 m. in diameter and made of an unknown metal compound; its meters and instruments had Russian 
symbols, and it appeared to have a range of some 30,000 km. Significantly, the aspects of this first report implying that the vehicle 
was of Russian origin have been selectively neglected by subsequent writers, particularly those who urge that the claimed wreckage is 
extra-terrestrial in origin. It seems well established that this story has no basis in fact. 

Representatives of Air Force Project Blue Book claimed no knowledge of the disc fragment discussed by Edwards, who claimed the 
successful 

[[134]] 



search for this fragment was confirmed by Lt. Cdr. Frank Thompson of the U.S. Navy. The fragment, said to have been dislodged by 
gunfire from a Navy jet, reportedly fell to the ground, where it was found, still glowing, an hour later by U.S. military ground search 
crews. Reports of UFO events over Washington, D. C, in 1952 contain no reference to such a gunfire incident. If such a fragment did 
exist and was classified "Secret" as was claimed, its existence and whereabouts would not necessarily be revealed to this project. A 
request for official confirmation that the claimed fragment did or did not exist and does or does not exist was fonA/arded to U.S. Air 
Force headquarters. A reply was received from J. W. Clinton, by direction of the Chief of Information, Department of the Navy. Mr. 
Clinton indicated that a thorough search of all Navy records available failed to reveal any account of a Navy jet fighter's encounter with 
an UFO in July 1952 or at any other time. Perhaps more significant, however, were the facts that Navy records of the year 1952 
carried only one Frank Thompson, an individual who had retired from active duty several years before 1 952 with the rank of lieutenant, 
not lieutenant commander. Navy fighters based near Washington were armed only for firing practice conducted far out at sea over a 
restricted firing area. Navy aircraft armed with live ammunition, Mr. Clinton pointed out, would have been usurping an Air Force 
function if they had been present over Washington, D. C, as interceptors. Mr. Clinton concluded: "The incident is not beyond the realm 
of possibility, but due to the nature of the Navy's jet operations about the Washington, D. C. area at the time, it was very highly 
unlikely." 

The 3,000 lb. mass of metallic material from the St. Lawrence River was the subject of several communications received by this 
project. Among these was a letter from Mrs. Carol Halford-Watkins, Secretary of the Ottawa New Sciences Club (Project file 1326-P). 
The Club now has custody 

[[135]] 



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of the specimen. The Club does not claim that the piece of metal is, in fact, part of a spaceship; however, its members do not reject 
this possibility. Mrs. Halford-Watkins generously offered samples of the material for analysis and provided photographs of the object 
and a description of details of the find and analyses of the material. The Canadian Arsenals Research and Development 
Establishment (CARDE) had examined the non-homogeneous material, and described it as high-manganese austenitic steel. 
GARDE personnel considered the material the normal productof a foundry, consisting of slag with semi-molten scrap imbedded in it. 
The object was not believed to have fallen in the location where it was found, which is near Quebec City, in a channel of the St. 
Lawrence River which carries water only at high tide, for there was no crater nor splattered material in the vicinity. 

A Quebec newspaper had reported that a fiery object fell out of the sky with an accompanying sonic boom rocking the area, prior to 
discovery of the massive metal in the river. Members of Ottawa New Sciences Club who investigated, however, were unable to find 
anyone in the area who had actually heard or seen the object fall. Since no connection could be seen between the existence of this 
metal or slag and the UFO question, no further analysis of the material was undertaken by the project. This writer examined the 
metallic mass at Ottawa and agreed with the CARDE conclusion that it was ordinary foundry waste. 

Examination of claimed evidence of any of the three general types revealed a tendency of some persons to attribute to UFOs any 
track material, or artifact which seemed unusual and strange, even when there had been no sighting of an UFO in the vicinity. The 
3,000 lb. metallic mass is one example. Another example was a ground depression and connecting system of crooked, thread-like 
tunnels found near Marliens, France, on 9 May 1967, and reported in The Flying Saucer Review(^967). The radar chaff "space 
grass" described above also illustrates this tendency. Metal spheres, a foot or two in diameter, have also been found in fields or 
woods and reported as mysterious UFOs or UFO evidence. These hollow spheres actually are targets used to calibrate radar sets. 
One such object, not considered an "UFO" by the finder in this case, but arousing 

[[136]] 



widespread interest, was found on an Arkansas farm on 3 November 1967. The sphere had been manufactured by the Universal 
Metal Spinning Company of Albuquerque, N. M. for the Physical Science Laboratory of New Mexico State University at Las Cruces. 
These spheres, according to the manufacturer, are made of aluminum, vary in diameter from 3-3/16 in. to 28 in., and are deployed 
from aircraft, balloons, or rockets. In ordinary use, they fall freely, reaching a terminal velocity of about 90 mph. They are normally 
dropped only in uninhabited regions. Such spheres, found in Australia,were mentioned in an UFO context by Edwards (1967). 

A 5-in, metal object found on a lawn in Colorado, near a burned spot its own size where it evidently had struck while still hot, was 
thought perhaps to have fallen from outer space during the night, since it was not on the lawn when it had been mowed the previous 
day. This object was easily identified as the power lawn mower's muffler. 

Any artifact reportedly found at the site of an alleged UFO landing, collision, or explosion presents the primary problem of establishing 
a relationship between the artifact and the UFO. During the course of this study reports reaching us of events from which such artifacts 
might be recovered have invariably been sufficiently vague and uncertain to make doubtful the reality of the event described. Analysis 
of the artifact is therefore meaningless unless the analysis itself can demonstrate that the artifact is not of earthly origin. Samples of 
material were submitted to this project from two reported events which occurred during project operation. In one case (42), a tiny 
irregular piece of thin metal had reportedly been picked up from among the beer-can tabs and other earthly debris in an area beneath 
the reported location of a hovering UFO. It was said to have been picked up because it was the only object in the area that the local 
investigator could not identify immediately. Analysis showed the sample to be composed chiefly of iron. No additional effort was made 

[[137]] 



to prove that it was or was not a piece of corroded metal can, for project investigators saw no reason to assume it was related to the 
UFO, even if the reported UFO were real. In the other case, two metal samples were submitted, through APRO headquarters, 
reportedly from the site of an UFO-automobile collision of 16 July 1967. One of these, a tiny piece of thin, rolled metal, was shown by 
analysis to be an alloy of magnesium, aluminum, and zinc. The other sample, weighing several grams, was an iron~chromium~ 
manganese alloy in unworked, crystalline state. Large crystals extending from one surface suggested this sample had solidified at the 
edge of a vessel from which the rest of the melt had been poured. Both of these materials could be produced by conventional 
technology. Proof that they are residue from a strange object would require demonstration that they were actually found at the site; that 
they were not there prior to the reported UFO event and could not have been brought there by the automobile or by other means 
subsequent to the event; that there was dependable continuity of custody of samples between discovery and analysis; and that there 
was, indeed, an UFO involved in the reported event. In other words, the existence of these materials, since they are easily producible 
by earthly technology, can not serve as evidence that a strange flying object collided with the automobile in question. 

One case described at great length in UFO literature (Lorenzen, 1962) emphasizes metal fragments that purportedly fell to earth at 
Ubatuba, Sao Paulo, Brazil from an exploding extra-terrestrial vehicle. The metal was alleged to be of such extreme purity that it could 
not have been produced by earthly technology. For that reason, this particular material has been widely acclaimed as a fragment of an 
exploded flying disc. Descriptions of the material's origin and analyses occupy 46 pages of the Lorenzen book and the material is 
referred to in a high percentage of UFO writings. These fragments of magnesium metal ~ undoubtedly the 

[[138]] 



most famous bits of physical evidence in UFO lore - were generously loaned to the Colorado project by Jim and Coral Lorenzen of 
APRO for analysis. 



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The story which associated these fragments with an UFO is even more tenuous than most UFO reports, since the observers could 
never be identified or contacted because of the illegibility of the signature on the letter which described the event. According to the 
account by Olavo T. Fontes, M.D., a Rio de Janeiro society columnist wrote, under the heading, "A Fragment From a Flying Disc" 



We received the letter: "Dear Mr. Ibrahim Sued. As a faithful reader of your column and your admirer, I wish to give you 
something of the highest interest to a newspaperman, about the flying discs. If you believe that they are real, of course. I 
didn't believe anything said or published about them. Butjust a fewdays ago I was forced to change my mind. I was fishing 
together with some friends, at a place close to the town of Ubatuba, Sao Paulo, when I sighted a flying disc. It approached 
the beach at unbelievable speed and an accident, i.e. a crash into the sea seemed imminent. At the last moment, 
however, when it was almost striking the waters, it made a sharp turn upward and climbed rapidly on a fantastic impulse. 
We followed the spectacle with our eyes, startled, when we saw the disc explode in flames. It disintegrated into thou sands 
of fiery fragments, which fell sparkling with magnificent brightness. They looked like fireworks, despite the time of the 
accident, at noon, i. e. at midday. Most of these fragments, almost all, fell into the sea. But a number of small pieces fell 
close to the beach and we picked up a large amount of this material - which was as light as paper. I am enclosing a 
sample of it. I dont know anyone that could be trusted to 

[[139]] 



whom I might send it for analysis. I never read about a flying disc being found, or about fragments or parts of a saucer that 
had been picked up. Unless the finding was made by military authorities and the whole thing kept as a top-secret subject. I 
am certain the matter will be of great interest to the brilliant columnist and I am sending two copies of this letter - to the 
newspaper and to your home address." 

From the admirer (the signature was not legible), together with the above letter, I received fragments of a strange metal 

Following the appearance of this account, the claim was published that analyses of the fragments, performed by a Brazilian 
government agency and others, showed the fragments to be magnesium of a purity unattainable by production and purification 
techniques known to man at that time. If this proved to be true, the origin of the fragments would be puzzling indeed, tf it could then be 
established that the fragments had actually been part of a flying vehicle, that vehicle could then be assumed to have been 
manufactured by a culture unknown to man. 

The first step in checking this claim was independent analysis of the magnesium fragments, and comparison of their purity with 
commercially produced pure magnesium. A comparison sample of triply sublimed magnesium, similar to samples which the Dow 
Chemical Company has supplied on request for at least 25 years, was acquired from Dr. R. S. Busk, Research Director of the Dow 
Metal Products Dept., Midland, Mich. Since it was assumed that extremely small quantities of impurities would need to be measured, 
neutron-activation analysis was selected as the analytical method. The samples were taken to the National Office Laboratory, Alcohol 
and Tobacco Tax Division, Bureau of Internal Revenue, 

[[140]] 



at which the personnel had no special interest in the UFO question. The neutron irradiation and gamma spectrometry were personally 
observed by this writer. The analysis was performed by Mr. Maynard J. Pro, Assistant Chief, Research and Methods Evaluation, and 
his associates. Original irradiation data and gamma-spectrometer read-out tapes are preserved in project files. 

The material irradiated was a chip broken from the main fragment. It was immersed in HCI to remove surface contamination. After 
washing, the sample presented a bright, shiny, metallic surface. The absence of chlorine emissions in the gamma-ray spectra after 
neutron activation showed both that washing had been thorough and that chlorine was not present in the sample itself. The 
concentrations of eight impurity elements were measured. Results are given in parts per million parts of sample, with limits of error 
estimated on the basis of greatest conceivable error. The "UFO fragment" compared with the Dow material as follows: 



Parts Per Million 



ELEMENT 


Dow Mg. 


Brazil UFO 


Mn 


4.8±0.5 


35.0±5. 


Al 


not detected (<5) 


not detected (<10) 


Zn 


5.±1. 


500.±100. 


Hg 


2.6±0.5 


not detected 


Cr 


5.9±.12 


32.0±10. 


Cu 


0.4±0.2 


3.3±1.0 


Ba 


not detected 


160.±20. 


Sr 


not detected 


500.±100. 



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Mn, Al, Zn, Hg, and Cr values were obtained from direct gamma spectrometry and half-life measurement; Cu, Ba, and Sr values were 
obtained by gamma spectrometry after radiochemical separation of the elements. In the latter cases, known standard samples of 
these elements were irradiated and analyzed concurrently with the specimen. Results, within the limits of error indicated, should be 
quite dependable. Since spectrographic analyses routinely performed on purified magnesium show no other elements present at 
concentrations of more than a few parts per million, the analytical results presented above show that the claimed UFO fragment is not 
nearly as pure as magnesium produced by known earthly technology prior to 1957, the year of the UFO report. 

The neutron activation analysis also was utilized as a means of checking the magnesium isotopic content. The suggestion had been 
made (Jueneman, 1968) that the fragment might be composed of pure Mg^^, and therefore the magnesium isotopic content of this 
fragment should be determined. The suggestion was based on assumed qualities of such a pure isotope and on a density figure of 
1.866 gm/cc, which had been reported for the center of one of the magnesium pieces "as determined in replicate using a Jolly 
balance" (Lorenzen, 1962). It is interesting that this figure was chosen over the density figure of 1.7513 gm/cc, also reported in the 
Lorenzen book, which was determined at a US Atomic Energy Commission laboratory by creating a liquid mixture in which the 
fragment would neither float nor sink, and measuring the density of the liquid. The quantity of Mg^^ isotope produced by neutron 
activation [Mg^^ (n, gamma) Mg^^, as determined by gamma spectrometry after activation, showed that the Brazil sample did not 
differ significantly in Mg^^ isotope content from other magnesium samples. 

[[142]] 



Although the Brazil fragment proved not to be pure, as claimed, the possibility remained that the material was unique. The high content 
of Srwas particularly interesting, since Sr is not an expected impurity in magnesium made by usual production methods, and Dr. Busk 
knew of no one who intentionally added strontium to commercial magnesium. The sample was, therefore, subjected also to a 
metallographic and microprobe analysis at the magnesium Metallurgical Laboratory of the Dow Chemical Company, through the 
cooperation of Dr. Busk and Dr. D. R. Beaman. Again, all work was monitored by this writer. Microprobe analysis confirmed the 
presence of strontium and showed it to be uniformly distributed in the sample (see Case 4). In all probability, the strontium was added 
intentionally during manufacture of the material from which the sample came. Metallographic examinations show large, elongated 
magnesium grains, indicating that the metal had not been worked after solidification from the liquid or vapor state. It therefore seems 
doubtful that this sample had been a part of a fabricated metal object. 

A check of Dow Metallurgical Laboratory records revealed that, over the years, this laboratory made experimental hatches of Mg alloy 
containing from 0.1% -40% Sr. As early as 25 March 1940, it produced a 700 gm. batch of Mg containing nominally the same 
concentration of Sr as was contained in the Ubatuba sample. 

Since only a few grams of the Ubatuba magnesium are known to exist, and these could have been produced by common earthly 
technology known prior to 1 957, the existence and composition of these samples themselves reveal no information about the 
samples' origin. The claim of unusual purity of the magnesium fragments has been disproved. The fragments do not show unique or 
unearthly composition, and therefore they cannot be used as valid evidence of the extra-terrestrial origin of a vehicle of which they are 
claimed to have been a part. 

[[143]] 



BACK TO TOP 

4. Conclusion 

This project has found no physical evidence which, in itself, clearly indicates the existence in the atmosphere of vehicles of 
extraordinary nature. Belief in the existence of such vehicles, if such belief is held, must rest on other arguments. 

[[144]] 



BACK TO TOP 

References 



Allen, W. Gordon. Space Craft from Beyond Three Dimensions, Exposition Press: New York, (1959), 51 and 98. 

Edwards, Frank. Flying Saucers - Here and Now, Lyie Stuart, Inc.: New York, (1 967), 1 99. 

Edwards, Frank. Flying Saucers, Serious Business, Bantam Book 53378, (1966), 41 ff. 

Flail, Richard H. The UFO Evidence, NICAP publication, (1964), 97. 

Jueneman, Frederick B. Private communication to Mrs. Coral Lorenzen, 4 January 1968. 

Keel, John A. "Are UFOs Using the Earth For a Garbage Dump?" Flying Saucers, No. 4, Dell Publication, (1967), 32ff. 

Lorenzen, Coral E. The Great Flyinq Saucer Hoax, The William Frederick Press: New York, (1962), 89ff. Also reprinted, paperbound. 



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as Flying Saucers, the Startling Evidence of the Invasion from Outer Space, Signet Book T3058, 1 04ff. ' 

Lorenzen, Coral and Jim. Flying Saucer Occupants, Signet Book T3205, (1967), 19-32. 

IVIaney, C. A. and R. H. Hall. The Challenge of Unidentified Flying Objects, NICAP publication, (1961), iii. 

Michel, Aime. Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery, S. G. Phillips, Inc. : New York, (1958), 170. 

Moseley, James W. Saucer Nem, (Spring 1967). 

The Flying Saucer Review, Courier Printing and Publishing Co., Ltd.: Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, (Sept.-Oct., 1967), 14. 

[[145]] 



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Chapter 4 
Indirect Physical Evidence 
Roy Craig 



1 ■ Introduction 

2. Radiation Level Excursions 

3. Terrestrial Magnetic Disturbances 

4. Automobile Engine Malfunction and Headlight Failure 

5. Unexplained Electric Power interruptions 

6. Conclusions 
References 

BACK to Contents 



1. Introduction 

Reports of unidentified flying objects, particularly those reported to have come quite close to the observer, frequently describe physical 
effects due to the presence of the UFO. The most frequently claimed effects are electric or electromagnetic in nature. They include 
unexplained stoppage of automobile motors; failure of automobile headlights; interference with radio, T.V., and electric clock 
operation; power failures; magnetic field disturbances; and sudden temporary increases in gamma radiation levels. One publication 
(Hall, 1964) lists 106 UFO cases in which electromagnetic effects are a significant feature of the UFO report. Forty-five of these 
involve stalled automobile motors, generally accompanied by headlight failure. 

Physiological effects of UFOs are also frequently reported. They include strange reactions of animals, feelings of pressure, heat, or 
"prickly sensations," and, occasionally, lapse of consciousness by a human observer. 

While such physical or physiological effects are frequently reported, they are not invariably a part of UFO reports. Some report 
stoppage of the observer's automobile, while others chase the UFOs in their cars, the operation of which is unimpaired. Our field 
teams also have noted that strange animal reactions, and even interference with telephone operation, have been claimed in cases in 
which the UFO was later identified as a bird or a plastic balloon. Such instances confuse the issue, but do not prove that in other 
cases there is no relation between claimed unusual physical and psychological effects and UFO sightings. 

[[146]] 



Claims of strange animal reactions or unusual human sensations when an UFO is near cannot be verified by examination of residual 
evidence, for no physical evidence remains after the event. Certain physical effects, however, might be expected to leave a detectable 
alteration in the affected object, or a permanent record of an instrumented measurement of a physical quantity. Attempts to find and 
examine such evidence are reported in this chapter. 

One expected physical effect is noteworthy because of its absence. In numerous reports, the UFO is seen, visually or by radar, to be 
moving at presumed speeds far exceeding the speed of sound, yet no sound, particularly no sonic boom, is heard. Our present 
knowledge of physics indicates that any material object moving through the atmosphere at such speeds would necessarily create a 
pressure wave in the atmosphere resulting in a sonic boom. This expected physical effect is discussed in Section VI, Chapter 6. 

BACK TO TOP 

2. Radiation Level Excursions 

In 1952-53, Project Blue Book personnel investigated claimed correlations of visual sightings of UFOs with rapid rises of radiation 
counts on radiation-detecting devices (Blue Book, 1 953). The events allegedly occurred near Mt. Palomar Observatory in October 
1949, and at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in 1950, 1951, and 1952. Air Force investigators examined their records and 
searched, as well, for reports of unrecorded UFO sightings. They found no evidence of UFO observations which would correlate with 
the Los Alamos high-radiation occurrences. 

The Blue Book investigators also reviewed a Navy report of the October 1949 incidents at Mt. Palomar. According to the Air Force 
report, on two occasions at Mt. Palomar at the same time that radiation detectors indicated a sudden burst of radiation, "personnel 
from the observatory observed something in the air." 

[[147]] 



In one instance, according to the Navy report, the observed object was judged to have appeared similar to a bird. In the other the 
similarity was to a formation of aircraft. There was strong indication that, whatever the identities of the observed object, the 
observations and the radiation excursions were strictly coincidental. 

No instances of radiation excursions coincident with UFO siahtinas were reported to the Colorado oroiect, which has therefore not 



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had an opportunity to study at firsthand any possible relationship between such events. ' 

BACK TO TOP 

3. Terrestrial Magnetic Disturbances 

Popular lore associates the presence of UFOs with local disturbances of the earth's magnetic field. "UFO detectors" have been 
designed to sense such disturbances, sounding an alarm when a sudden change in the magnetic field alters the orientation of a 
magnet in the " detector." 

During the investigative phase of this project, an observer near Denver, Colo., reported that his detector had sounded. He telephoned 
project headquarters to inform us that he had sighted an UFO overhead. Responding to this call, project investigators drove to the 
scene and observed a light in the daylight sky pointed out to them by the observer. They watched the light move westward at a rate 
later calculated to be 15<7hr. Its coordinates during the period of observation were those of the planet Venus. 

The project attempted to verify reports of the association of magnetic disturbances with UFO sightings in the Antarctic during the 
period March-September 1965 (Project file 1257P). In this effort the project was greatly assisted by Commander Jehu Blades of the 
NROTC unit at the University of Colorado. Cmdr. Blades had served as commanding officer of the U.S.Antarctic "wintering-over" party 
at McMurdo Station in 1965. Argentine newspapers had given extensive coverage to a report that on 3 July 1965 personnel of the 
Orcadas Naval Station in the 

[[148]] 



Antarctic observed the presence of a strange luminous body simultaneously with a small deviation inthe earth's magnetic field. The 
episode lasted for 40 min. Information from the British Antarctic Survey (Blades, 1967) indicated that the British station at Deception 
Island had received reports of moving colored lights seen from the Argentine station on Deception Island on 7 June, 20 June, and 3 
July 1965; from the Chilean station on the latter two dates, and from the British station on 2 July. An UFO observed by two men on 20 
November 1 965, at an Antarctic field approximately 74°30S, 1 7°00W, was judged to have been a radiosonde balloon launched from 
the British station at Halley Bay. 

Base Commander CD. Walter, of the British base at Deception Island recalled receipt, during the early winter of 1965, of a variety of 
UFO reports from the Argentine station. Reports subsequently came from the Chilean station. The phenomena seen by the Chileans 
were reported as being above the Argentine base, while those seen by the Argentineans were reported as located above the Chilean 
base. 

Mr. Walter reported that the one observation reported by a member of the British base was made by the cook at the base and was 
looked upon as rather a joke. There also was a suggestion that practical jokes were being played upon the commandant of the 
Argentine base. 

No UFO observations on Deception Island were made by scientific personnel. Mr. Walter also mentioned that a nacreous cloud was 
observed at the British Base F on the Argentine Islands on 4 July at the same time as a defect developed in the magnetic instruments. 
While the instrument fault was soon corrected, misinterpreted radio reports of the event may have led to UFO interpretations, and even 
to claims of magnetic effects of the UFO. 

Dr. Erich Paul Heilmaier, Director of the Astronomical Observatory, Catholic University of Chile, reported that observations of white 
luminous 

[[149]] 



flying objects, made by nine people at the Chilean "Presidente Aquirre Cerda" Antarctic base on 3 July 1 965, were made by untrained 
persons, and suggested that reports of the observations should be accepted with reserve. The objects were said to have been seen 
for 20 minutes as they crossed the SW end of Deception Island traveling at "full speed" in a NW-SE direction, at 45° elevation. 

According to Dr. Heilmaier's information, the phenomenon was also observed at the British base and the Argentine station, and 
variations of the magnetic field were recorded by magnetometers at the Argentine station. Dr. Heilmaier was unable to supply details 
of these observations. 

Capt. Jose Maria Cohen, Argentine Navy, reported that the magnetic variations registered on the Deception Island instruments were 
not outside the limits of normal variation. 

Microfilm copies of magnetograms recorded at the Orcadas Observatory on 3 July 1 965 were obtained and examined. The magnetic 
deviation recorded during the reported UFO sighting was small, an order of magnitude lower than deviations observed during 
magnetic storms, and well within normal daily fluctuations. Consequently, we must conclude that the 1965 Antarctic expedition reports 
offer little convincing evidence that an unidentified object caused a terrestrial magnetic disturbance. No data which could serve as firm 
evidence that an UFO caused a magnetic disturbance have been brought to our attention. 

[[150]] 



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4. Automobile Engine Malfunction and Headlight Failure 

Reports of temporary stalling of automobile motors by UFOs constitute one of the more puzzling aspects of UFO reports. The 
automobiles are invariably reported to operate normally after the UFO leaves the vicinity, and no permanent damage to the car's 
ignition or lighting system is indicated. 

One explanation advanced for such effects has been that UFOs somehow ionize the air to such an extent that normal internal 
combustion is prevented. This is considered unlikely because no concomitant physiological or physical effects that such ionization 
would cause are reported. Mechanisms capable of short-circuiting automobile electrical systems do not take into account the claim 
that normal operation resumes after departure of the UFO. 

There remains the hypothesis that automobile motors are stopped or their performance interfered with by magnetic fields associated 
with UFOs. To test this hypothesis, the project sought, as the first step, to determine the minimum magnetic field strength that would 
cause motor malfunction. Tests of the effect of a high intensity magnetic field on individual components of an automobile ignition 
system have been carried out at a major national laboratory using an electromagnet capable of producing a field up to 1 0 kg 
(kilogauss) across an area 9 in. in diameter. The engineer has requested that his identity not be disclosed in this report. At a meeting 
sponsored by the project in Boulder, he presented his experimental results. He used a simplified simulated automobile ignition 
system, placing each component in turn in the magnetic field, which was increased slowly from -20 kg. The distributor was turned by 
an electric motor outside the magnetic field. His results are shown in Table 1 . 

[[151]] 



NCAS EDITORS' NOTE: The next table in this chapter is also numbered "1. " It is follomd by Tables 2 and 3. This ms an error in 
the original text. 

Table 1 



ITEM IN FIELD 



Field Direction 



Effects 



Spark Plug 



Coaxial with arc 



Slightly brighter spark 



Spark Plug 



Perpendicular to arc 



Moved arc to side of electrodes, 20 kilogauss 
did not stop arcing. 



Coil (Steel Container) 



Perpendicular to center Occasionally interrupted spark at 20 
line kilogauss. 



Coil (Aluminum Container) 



Perpendicular to center Spark started missing at about 4 kilogauss, 
line stopped at 1 7 kilogauss. 



Lead acid battery with resistive Parallel to battery plates Voltage dropped from 12.3 at zero field to 
load (lA current) 12.0 at 20 kilogauss. 



Light 



Parallel and No effect on brightness or current (resistance) 

perpendicular to filament up to 20 kilogauss. 



The spark plug was at atmospheric pressure with a normal gap of about 0.025 inches. 

Two coils were used, a 12V aluminum-cased coil, without a voltagedropping resistor, typical of European cars, and a 6V steel-cased 
coil of American manufacture. The iron core of the aluminum-cased coil saturated at 16 kg. When the core is saturated, the charging 
current does not change the magnetism enough to generate a high voltage. The steel casing of the 6V coil apparently provided 
enough magnetic shielding to extend the saturation point to something greater than 20kg. external field. 

[[152]] 



If we accept these measurements, they indicate that a car with its ignition coil in a steel container (standard in cars of American 
manufacture) would continue to operate in magnetic fields less than 20 kg. However, since the entire ignition system is shielded by the 
steel hood and body of the car, it is apparentthat very intense magnetic fields external to the car would be required if automobile 
stoppage should be due to magnetic effects. 

Ratherthan attempt to assess the probability that intense magnetic fields are generated by UFOs, or to calculate hypothetical field 
intensities at variable distances from an UFO, we chose to test the magnetic field hypothesis by looking for direct evidence that 



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automobiles reportedly affected by the presence of UFOs had in fact been subjected to the effects of a magnetic field that was 
sufficiently intense to cause motor malfunction. Magnetic mapping of car bodies as a means of obtaining information about the 
magnetic history of an automobile was suggested by Mr. Frederick J. Hooven, formerly of the Ford Motor Company, and now Adjunct 
Professor of Engineering Science at the Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H. Mr. Hooven and members 
of the General Parts Division of Ford Motor Company, notably Mr. David F. Moyer, manager of advanced manufacturing engineering, 
applied the magnetic mapping technique to an automobile that had allegedly been directly beneath an UFO for several minutes. 
During that time, the driver reportedly could not accelerate the automobile, which seemed to be moving underthe control of the UFO. 
Residual radio and car instrument malfunctions also were claimed. The full study of this case, carried out at the expense of the Ford 
Motor Company, is reported as Case 12. A summary of the magnetic signature aspects of the case is presented by Mr. Hooven as 
follows: 

When a piece of ordinary low-carbon steel, such as automotive sheet metal, is stressed beyond the elastic limit, as in 
forming or stretching, it becomes "work-hardened" to an extent sufficient 

[[153]] 



to enable it to retain a substantial degree of permanent magnetism. Thus, it ordinarily will retain a substantial portion of the 
earth's magnetic field as it existed at the time of forming. This can easily be demonstrated by hammering a nail on an 
anvil, with the nail pointing north/ south, which will result in permanently magnetizing the nail in the direction of the earth's 
field. 

The external sheet metal parts of an automobile, such as the door panels, hood, deck lid, roof, and minor body panels, are 
ordinarily formed under conditions that remain constant for the duration of the yearly model, and often for three or four 
years. Thus, the parts of a given make and model car are all likely to have come from a single source, or at the most two 
sources, no matter where the car is assembled. The dies that form these parts ordinarily remain undisturbed during the 
service life, subject to repeated blows that cause them to become magnetized by the magnetic field of the earth, and 
forming parts that all take on a similar pattern of magnetism. 

Other processes that leave their magnetic imprint on the sheet metal parts of the car, are the use of magnetic lifting 
devices, spot-welding, and (where used) chrome plating, with the result that each make and model car has a pattern of 
magnetism retained in its sheet metal parts that is as distinctive of that make and model as a finger print is of an 
individual. 

This characteristic was utilized in the tests reported in Case 12, as a suggested technique whereby vehicles could be 
examined for some indication of their history so far as magnetic environment is concerned. The vehicle was carefully 
mapped with a magnetometer, and the complex pattern of magnetic remanence was compared with that of three other 
vehicles of the same make, model, and year chosen at random. It proved 

[[154]] 



to be identical to two of them; it was established that the third had been wrecked and repaired. 

It was not established by these tests just what strength of magnetic field would be required to change the established 
pattern of the production vehicle, but it is obviously a greater amount than a car experiences in the normal course of its life. 
It was likewise assumed that this value would be smaller than any field capable of interfering with the car's operation. 

Since the magnetic pattern on the tested car was substantially unchanged from new, it was concluded on the basis of the 
above assumptions that the car has not been subject to any ambient magnetic field, either unidirectional or alternating, of 
sufficient intensity to interfere with its normal functioning. This would have been sufficient to conclude that the permanent 
magnets in the car could not have been demagnetized, as was at first suspected, without the necessity of removing the 
instruments for testing, since any field that would have affected the permanent magnets in the car would have been 
sufficient to change the retained magnetism in the car's sheet metal. 

Magnetic effects have been considered to be the most plausible causes of reported automobile malfunctioning in UFO 
encounters, and the magnetic-mapping technique offers an effective means of determining whether or not a given vehicle 
has been subjected to intense fields. It does not provide information respecting other possible environmental causes of 
vehicle malfunction. 

[[155]] 



Mr. Hooven's assumption that the minimum strength of magnetic field required to change the established magnetic pattern would be 
smaller than any field capable of interfering with the cars operation has been verified by a test with 1 kg. field. A magnetron magnet 
was passed over specified points on the front deck of a 1 962 Chevrolet Corvair, and the alteration in magnetic pattern was noted. A 
0.4 cm. paper tablet was kept between the magnet and the car deck to prevent physical contact. The maximum field strength 
penetrating the tablet was measured with a Bell "120" gaussmeter, with Model T-1201 probe, and was found to be 1 kg. (One inch 
away from the tablet, which was held against the magnet poles, the maximum field was measured as 235 g.). The observed 
alterations in magnetic pattern are shown in Table 1 which gives the directions a compass needle pointed when the compass was 
placed on the selected test points 6 in. apart located as shown in Fig. 1 . The measurements also demonstrate both the permanence 



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of pattern alteration and alteration due to bending and straightening of the car deck. The car was facing 180° T. during all 
measurements. 



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1 



The third and fourth columns of Table 1 show definitely that the passage of 1-kg. magnetic field completely determines the residual 
magnetic pattern. Subsequent compass readings, except for unexplained anomaly at point 29, show the last alteration to be the one 
retained. The car under study was involved ina collision on21 August. Figures inthe right column of Table 1 show the magnetic 
pattern after straightening and repainting. All compass readings shown are accurate to within 2°-3°. Each set of readings was 
recorded without reference to prior readings, with which they were compared only subsequently. The reproducibility, in most cases, is 
surprising. When test points were near sharp changes in magnetic orientation, a slight error in point relocation 

[[156]] 



Table 1 



Compass Readings 1 8 July 1 968 Subsequent Compass Readings 



<="" td="" width="95%" noshade=""> <="" td="" width="95%" noshade=""> 

After passage of After passage of 

TEST POINT magnet, N pole on E magnet, N pole on W After collision 

NUMBER Original side of point side of point 5 August 15 August and repair 



25 


29 


295 


68 


66 


68 


60 


13 


38 


275 


80 


78 


78 


70 


26 


349 


275 


89 


90 


89 


44 


27 


10 


275 


91 


90 


90 


67 


28 


22 


280 


85 


72* 


67 


53 


29 


13 


265 


85 


52* 


39 


1 


30 


13 


271 


76 


12* 


10 


352 


31 


6 


305 


26 


355* 


2 


3 



[[157]] 



















[ f ] 

■ ' ' s " ' ■ 


r" 






J. 



















Figure 1 : Corvair Front Deck 
Click thumbnail for full-size image. 

[[158]] 



Table 2 



Test Point No. 



18 Jul 



COMPASS READINGS 



5 August 



15 August 



A-1 
A-2 
A-3 



74 
98 
127 



69 

105 

150 



63 

108 

147 



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A-4 
A-5 
A-6 


153 
171 
176 


178 
192 
200 


175 
190 
207 


A-7 

A-8 
A-9 
A-10 
A-11 
A-12 


58 

79 

104 

132 

159 

176 


48 

66 

112 

162 

195 

221 


45 

72 

112 

158 

192 

220 


Table 3 






COMPASS READINGS 




Test Point No. 


Original 
18 July 


5 August 


15 August 


Post Wreck 
4 September 


9 
10 
11 
12 
13 
14 
15 
16 
18 


310 

292 

197 

56 

38 

25 

22 

332 

67 


266 

236 

130 

350 

78 

317 

347 

328 

69 


263 

228 

143 

337 

78 

327 

351 

331 

69 


275 

256 

65 

56 

70 

20 

5 

356 
72 



[[159]] 



would cause major variation in compass readings. Such slight location error probably accounts for the lack of agreement in the 5 
August and 1 5 August columns of Table 1 , which shows data taken to test the permanency of a pattern previously scrambled by 
twisting the magnet over the area. Points A-l through A-12 are specific points 1 in. apart on each of two parallel lines 2 in. apart within 
Area A. The agreement of the two right columns shows both that the test points were accurately relocated and that the pattern was 
retained. 

While we did not determine the minimum magnetic field which would alter the car pattern, an indication that its value would be only a 
few gauss is given in data shown in Tables 1 and 2, and Table 1 is included here for that reason. 

As seen in Table 3, 5 August readings were significantly different from the original values for all points other than 16 and 18. After the 
original values were determined on 18 July, the magnet had been passed directly over point 13 and within an inch of point 9 (The 
magnet was passed over points 1-8 invariable orientation, showing initially that the pattern was thus changed. The data for passage 
over points 25-31 were chosen for presentation in Table 1 because of the observable determination of residual orientation.) These 
passes of the magnet, plus its passage over Area A, apparently altered the magnetic pattern at all points which were less than a foot 
from the magnet (note altered values on 5 August for points 9-15 in Table 3, points 28-31 in Table 1). 

More precise quantitative tests of the effect of magnetic fields of varying strength on the residual magnetic pattern of automobiles 
would be interesting. The above tests, however, show that a 1 kg. field is more than adequate to alter this pattern permanently. 

One case of reported car stoppage, occurring during the term of the Colorado project, was studied in the field (Case 39) using a 
simple compass of good quality. The correspondence of magnetic signature of the affected car with that of a comparison car of the 
same make and model in a different geographical location was striking. The correspondence showed that the automobile in question 
had not been subjected to a magnetic field of high intensity. 

[[160]] 



Magnetic mapping of the bodies of automobiles involved in particularly puzzling UFO reports of past years, such as the November 
1957 incidents at Levelland, Texas, would have been most desirable, but the cars were no longer available for study. 

The technique is simple and would be quite useful to any field team studying an event in which stalling of a car by an UFO is claimed. 
Investigators should interpret the results with caution, however, since denting and straightening of the car body does alter the magnetic 



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signature. As demonstrated in the test reported above, the signature also can be changed easily with a simple horseshoe magnet. 



BACK TO TOP 

5. Unexplained Electric Power interruptions 

(This section prepared by Mr R. J. Lov\) 

A listing of electrical power interruptions from 1954 through 1966 appears as Appendix E of the Federal Power Commission report, 
Prevention of Power Failures. This list contains none of the 15 disturbances of power systems tabulated in The UFO Evidence 
(NICAP, 1964), and its supplement as Laving been coincidental with sightings of UFOs near the affected power systems. 

The 148 power interruptions listed in the resume are those "which were sufficiently important to gain publicity." Since none of the 
reported UFO-related power failures tabulated by NICAP is reflected in the FPC resume, we may conclude that none of them was of 
major public consequence. This is also apparent from the descriptions of the incidents given by the authors of The UFO Evidence. 

Rather than investigate events that, from the standpoint of power systems operations and impact on the public, were not significant, it 
appeared more fruitful to determine whether there were power failures that could not be satisfactorily explained. The FPC report for 
the 13 years from 1954 through 1966 includes a total of 148 failures. In three instances although the events that initiated the 
disturbances were identified, the causes are listed as "unknown." In one case (Los Angeles, 19 July 1966), the event is described: 
"Breaker Operations - Cause Unknown"; 

[[161]] 



in the second (Chicago, 22 Nov. 1966) "Transformer Relay Operation - Cause Unknown"; and in the third (Austin, Texas, 14 Dec. 
1 966): "Lines Tripped Out - Cause Unknown." It has not been suggested, so far as we are aware, that these outages are related to 
UFO sightings. No sighting is listed in the Colorado project's printout of sighting reports for 19 July or 22 November; a sighting 
recorded for 14 December occurred elsewhere. 

An FPC Order No. 331 , issued 20 December 1966, requires all entities engaged in the generation and transmission of electric power 
to report significant interruptions of bulk power supply to the Commission. Through 12 June 1967, 52 power interruptions were 
reported in accordance with Order No. 331 . 

Of the 52, three were not explained. These are, together with the explanatory material given, the following: 

Tennessee Valley Authority, 25 February 1967 - A high temperature detector removed a transformer from service at 
Johnson City, Tenn. No damage was apparent and when restored to service the transformer continued to function 
normally. Loads of 36,700 kw. were interrupted for 36 min. 

Carolina Power & Light Company, 1 May 1967 - 25,000 kw. of load in the city of Rocky Mount, N.C., was interrupted for 
about 1 hr. when the 1 1 0 kw. bus at the Rocky Mount substation tripped. Cause of the interruption is unknown. 

Pennsylvania Power & Light Company, 12 June 1967 - Approximately 78,000 customers and 163,000 kw. of load in 
Lycoming and Schuylkill counties were interrupted at 2:01 p.m., EDT, when a 330 kv. lightning arrester failed on a 220/66 
kv. transformer bank at Frackville Substation. The failure occurred during clear weather and the cause was unknown. 
Service was restored to 1 13,000 kw. within 15 mm. and to the remaining 50,000 kw. within 24 min. 

[[162]] 



Eight UFO sightings are recorded in the project's printout on the date of the first outage, none of them in Tennessee; three on the date 
of the second, none in North Carolina; and one, not in Pennsylvania, on the date of the third. 

The causes of power failures are usually not announced until after the period of most intense public interest has passed. Although 
usually the cause of the outage will be traced very quickly, power officials maybe and often are reluctant to make prompt 
announcementof it, for fear that subsequent analysis will reveal the initial conclusion to be incorrect. Occasionally, it is several days 
before the cause is located. The public, however, begins to lose interest in what happened very soon after power is restored, so that 
circumstances of outages, because they can be determined immediately, are usually reported more fully and covered more 
prominently than their underlying causes. 

J. L. McKinley, Manager of System Operations, Public Service Company Colorado, assisted us with the technical aspects of the study 
of possible UFO-related electric power system failures. As a member of the North American Power Systems Interconnection 
Committee, Mr. McKinley is concerned with and informed about all aspects of power generation, transmission, and distribution in the 
local area and in the nation as a whole. We asked him whether there are power outages, the underlying cause of which remains 
unexplained. In a letter dated 1 1 October 1967, he answered as follows: 

I am not aware of any major power disturbances the causes of which are concealed behind a cloak of mystery. When we 
say that a 'cause is unknown', we mean that we have not found, after reasonable inspection, physical evidence of the 
cause. For example, a transmission line faults, circuit breakers open, and the relays sensing the fault causing the tripout 
show a ground target, which means that one of the phase conductors has been grounded. If the fault is instantaneous from 
a lightning strike, the circuit breakers will close, restoring the line in service. If the fault is permanent the circuit breakers will 



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close and 



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again open. In either event an inspection will result; in the case of the lightning strike, some physical evidence of the strike 
maybe evident; in the case of the permanent fault, the cause will be found, perhaps a tree has fallen into the line, etc. If no 
physical evidence is apparent upon inspection, a subsequent breakdown of some component may result, improper 
functioning of control or protection equipment may be found on routine tests, or, if the same fault occurs frequently, a much 
more intensive effort will locate the cause. Sometimes large birds will cause transmission lines to trip and it is very difficult 
to find evidence of physical damage, the dead bird or feathers, etc. being the only evidence. 

Equipment failures causing power outages are usually very easy to locate unless such outages result from the 
malfunctioning of the more sophisticated types of control or protection devices. Then specialized technicians must resort 
to extensive testing of the performance of these devices. 

Rocky Mountain Power Pool at Casper meeting on 13 June 1967, the North American Power Systems Interconnection Committee 
meeting at Vancouver, B.C. on 17-18 July 1967, and the Western Operating Committee meeting at Boise on 25-26 July 1967 were 
asked whether there is reason to suppose that some power interruptions are caused by or related to the appearance of UFOs. None 
of these experts replied in the affirmative. 

In Incident at Exeter (FuWer, 1966), the massive power failure in the Northeast of 9 November 1965 is described as follows: 

The blackout caused by the failure of the Northeast Power Grid created one of the biggest mysteries in the history of 
modern civilization... By November 1 1 , The NewYork Times was reporting that the Northeast was slowly struggling back 
toward normal, but that 

[[164]] 



the cause of the blackout was still unknown. Authorities frankly admitted that there was no assurance whatever that the 
incredible blackout could not happen again, with out warning. 

There was a curious lack of physical damage...only a few generators were out of action as a result of the power failure, not 
a cause. What's more, the utilities were able to restore service with the exact same equipment that was in use at the time 
of the blackout. What happened that night was not only far from normal; it was mystifying. If there had been a mechanical 
flaw, a fire, a breakdown, a short circuit, a toppling transmission tower, the cause would have been quickly and easily 
detected. Mechanically, however, the system as a whole was in perfect repair before and after the failure. 

William W. Kobelt, of Walkill, N.Y., is one of the thousands of line patrol observers who, according to The NewYork Times 
went into action to try to discover the trouble. He is typical of all the others. He flew over the lines of the Central Hudson 
Gas and Electric Corporation at daybreak after the blackout. Cruising close to treetop level, he checked wires, insulators, 
cross arms and structures of the high-power transmission lines. He looked for trees, branches which might have fallen over 
the wires. "We looked for trouble - but couldn't find any at all," he said. Robert Ginna, Chairman of the Rochester Gas and 
Electric Corporation, said that his utility had been receiving 200,000 kw. under an agreement with the New York State 
Power Authority, which operates the hydroelectric plants at Niagara Falls. "Suddenly, we didn't have it," he said. "We don't 
know what happened to the 200,000 kilowatts. It just wasn't there." 

The difficulty was traced to a remote-controlled substation at Clay,N.Y., near Syracuse, where, according to Mr. Fuller, all was found to 
be in order. 

[[165]] 



"Something else happened outside Syracuse, however, which was noted briefly in the press, and then immediately dropped without 
follow-up comment," according to the Fuller account. The "something else" was the sighting of a huge red ball of brilliant intensity 
about 1 00 ft. in diameter just over the power lines near the Clay substation. The reported observation by a private flight instructor and 
his student passenger was made from a plane approaching Hancock Field, Syracuse. Five persons, according to Fuller, including 
Robert C. Walsh, Deputy Commissioner for the Federal Aviation Agency, reported this UFO sighting, which was said to have 
occurred at 5:1 6 p.m., the moment the outage commenced. Observations of other unusual aerial objects, according to Mr. Fuller, were 
reported from NewYork City, N.Y, West Orange and Newark, N.J., Philadelphia, Pa., Holyoke and Amherst, Mass., and Woonsocket, 
R.I. Here is author Fuller's conclusion: 

In spite of the lengthy report issued by the FCC, (sic) the Great Blackout has still not been adequately explained. 
Ostensibly, backup Relay #Q-29 at the Sir Adam Beck generating station, Queenston, Ontario, was eventually pinpointed 
as the source of the massive failure. But further investigation, hardly noted in the press, showed that nothing in the relay 
was broken when it was removed for inspection. In fact, it went back into operation normally when power was restored. 
The line it was protecting was totally undamaged. "Why did everything go berserk?" Life Magazine asks in an article about 
the blackout. "Tests on the wayward sensing device have thus far been to no avail." A later statement by Arthur J. Harris, a 
supervising engineer of the Ontario Hydroelectric Commission, indicated that the cause was still a mystery. "Although the 
blackout has been traced to the tripping of a circuit breaker at the Sir Adam Beck No. 2 plant, it is practically impossible to 



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pinpoint the initial cause." As late as January 4, 1966, The NewYork Times in a follow-up story indicated a series of 
questions regarding the prevention of future blackouts. The news item says: 



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"These questions more or less are related to the cause, still not fully understood, of last November's blackout..." 
The A.P.R.O. Bulletin of November-December 1965 expresses a similar view of the events of that night. 

Finally, in testimony before a symposium on UFOs conducted by the House Committee on Science and Astronautics on 29 July 1968, 
Dr. James E. McDonald referred to the possibility that UFOs might have caused the power failure. 

Let us now examine the FPC report. Volume I states the "the Commission's initial report, published December 6 1965, pinpointed the 
initiating cause of the interruption as the operation of a backup relay on one of the five main transmission lines taking power to 
Toronto from Ontario Hydro's Sir Adam Beck No. 2 Hydroelectric Plant on the Niagara River. This relay, which was set too low for the 
load which the line was carrying, disconnected the line." Volume III gives the detailed chronology (to the hundredth of a second) of the 
events following the initial tripout of Q-29, as follows: 

The initial event was the operation of a backup relay at Beck Generating Station which opened circuit Q29BD, one of five 
230-kv. circuits connecting the generation of Beck to the Toronto-Hamilton load area. Prior to the opening of circuit 
Q29BD at Beck, these circuits were loaded with Beck generation plus almost 500 megawatts of power flowing to Beck 
over the two tie lines from New York State. Of this 500 megawatts, about 300 megawatts were scheduled for use in 
Ontario and the remaining 200 megawatts were in replacement of power flowing from the Saunders plant into New York at 
Massena. The loading on Q29BD, based on digital computer flows and examination of the Beck Station tie line and 
totalizing graphic charts, was indicated to be 361 megawatts at about 0.93 power factor and a voltage 248 kv. This pickup 
setting was, therefore, in excess of the indicated average line loading. The precise cause of the backup relay energization 
is not known. A momentary and relatively small change in voltage might have been responsible as the pickup 

[[167]] 



setting is inversely proportional to the square of the voltage. Alternatively the line megawatt loading could have increased 
slightly above 361 megawatts due to a change in system loading or a change in tap position of the phase shifting 
transformer at Saunders, St. Lawrence. Shortly before circuit Q29BD tripped, a tap setting change had been made in such 
a direction as to increase the power flow. In any event the pickup setting of the line backup relay was reached and the 
circuit opened at the Beck end. 

The opening of circuit Q29BD resulted in the sequential tripping of circuits Q23BW, Q25BW, Q24BD, and Q30AW. After 
the opening of the first two circuits, determined by an event recorder at Beck, the oscillograph at Beck started and 
established the sequential openings of circuits Q25BW, Q24BD, and Q30AW. 

The opening of the five Beck 230-kv. circuits occurred over a period of 2.7 seconds, during which the initial flow of 500 
megawatts from the western New York area toward Beck reversed and reached an estimated value of about 1 ,200 
megawatts into western New York for a total change of 1 ,700 megawatts. This surge of excess power continued eastward 
and southward from Niagara, and back into Canada over the 230-kv. tie line at St. Lawrence. This line was opened by 
protective relaying and separated the Ontario system, with the exception of Beck and its adjacent area, from the 
remainder of the interconnection. 

Generators in western New York and at the Beck Station accelerated toward an out-of-step condition and separated from 
the remaining system. The separation from the NewYork State Electric & Gas system was effected by the opening of the 
Meyer-Hillside 230-kv. circuit at 3.53 seconds and the Stolle Road-Myer circuit at 3.57 seconds, as recorded by 
oscillographs at Niagara and Stolle Road. Simultaneously with the separation from New York State Gas & Electric, the 

[[168]] 



PJM system separated from western NewYork due to the tripping of the Dunkirk-Erie 230-kv. line and the lines running 
east and west from Warren, Pa. 

At almost the same time, separation from central New York began when line protective relays operated to open the two 
Rochester-Clay 345-kv. circuits at 3.56 and 3.61 seconds. The computer simulation demonstrated that the parallel lower 
voltage circuits opened immediately thereafter. 

Moses-St. Lawrence generating station in northern NewYork, now connected to New England and central NewYork, 
continued to accelerate toward an out-of-step condition, tripping the two Moses-Adirondack circuits at 3.98 and 4.01 
seconds. This was followed by automatic generator dropping at Moses-St. Lawrence in an attempt to maintain area 
stability. At: this late stage, this did not prevent the opening of the Plattsburgh-Essex 230-kv. circuit at 4.1 1 seconds. 
Automatic reclosure was unsuccessful on the two Moses-Adirondack 230-kv. circuits at 4.79 and 4.81 seconds. Northern 
New York was now effectively separated from central New York and New England. The switching sequences in the St. 
Lawrence area separation were determined from oscillographic records at Moses-St. Lawrence, and were not duplicated 
successfully in the computer simulation. 



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The separation of western New York from central New York was followed by the separation of central New York from PJM 
at approximately 4 seconds with the opening of the 230-kv. Hillside-East Towanda line, the North Waverly-East Sayre line 
and the Goudey-Lennox line. This separation was followed by a surge of about 900 megawatts from New Jersey to 
Consolidated Edison across the Fresh Kills-Linden circuit. This caused two lines in series with the Fresh Kills-Linden 
circuit to open at Greenwood approximately 7 seconds after the initial event. The opening of these circuits separated 
eastern New York and New England from PJM. 

[[169]] 



Within 12 min. power generation in lower Ontario, N.Y, and New England (except for Maine and eastern New Hampshire) 
virtually ceased. 

Volume I of the FPC report states that "the causes which can trigger severe disturbances are practically unlimited. Many of them are 
derivatives of severe storms, seemingly unaccountable equipment failures, or even the fallibility of well trained system operators and 
maintenance men." The initial disturbances themselves are often quite minor and are sometimes difficult to trace, but the initiating 
event in the Great Northeast blackout holds no mystery. Quoting from IEEE Spectrum (February 1 966): 

At 5:1 6:1 1 p.m., a backup relay, protecting line Q29BD, operated normally and caused the circuit breaker at Beck to trip 
the unfaulted line. The power flow on the disconnected line shifted to the remaining four lines, each of which then became 
loaded beyond the critical level at which its backup protective relay was set to function. Thus the four remaining lines 
tripped out in cascade in 161 cycles' time (2.7 seconds). 

The relay that triggered the disturbance was one of five backup sensing devices (one backup relay per line) that protect 
the lines against failure of the Beck primary relays, or of circuit breakers at remote locations. According to the FPC report, 
the five backup relays were installed in 1951 , and, in 1956, a breaker on one of the 230-kv. lines failed to open (reason not 
explained) following a fault. In January 1 963, as a result of a re-evaluation study of its backup protection requirements, 
Ontario Hydro modified these relay settings to increase the scope of their protective functions. 

Figure 6 indicates the set of conditions under which this type of relay would trip. The evidence suggests that, at 5:16:1 1 , 
the load and generation characteristics of the Canada-United States interchange caused such a condition to be reached. 

The FPC report further states that the relay settings made in 1 963 at the Beck plant were in effect at the time 

[[170]] 



of the November 9 power failure. The backup relay on the line Q29BD was set in 1963 to operate at about 375 MW and the 100 Mvar 
at a bus voltage of 248 kV and, although the load-carrying capacity of each of these lines is considerably higher, it was necessary to 
set each backup relay to operate at a power level below the line's capacity to provide the desired protection and to achieve 
coordination with other relays on the system. This setting was believed to be sufficiently high to provide a safe margin above expected 
power flows. 

When the backup relays were modified and the power levels were set in 1963, the load on the northbound lines from Beck No. 2 was 
appreciably lower than the trip setting of the backup relay. Recently, the megawatt and megavar loadings on the transmission lines 
from Beck to the north, because of emergency outages in a new Ontario Hydro steam electric plant, have been very heavy. This 
temporary situation produced a deficiency in Ontario generation, with the result that a heavier inflow of power from the United States 
interconnections was necessary. 

According to Ontario Hydro spokesmen, the average flow had reached 356 MW (and approximately 1 60 Mvar) in the line that tripped 
out first, but momentary fluctuation in the flow is normal. Therefore, at 5:16 p.m., as already mentioned, the power flow apparently 
reached the level at which the relay was set; it functioned in accordance with its setting, and its circuit breaker tripped out the line. 
Ontario Hydro also informed the FPC that its operating personnel were not aware that the relay on line Q29BD was set to operate at a 
load of 375 MW. 

BACK TO TOP 

6. Conclusions 

Of all physical effects claimed to be due to the presence of UFOs, the alleged malfunction of automobile motors is perhaps the most 
puzzling. 

[[171]] 



The claim is frequently made, sometimes in reports which are impressive because they involve multiple independent witnesses. 
Witnesses seem certain that the function of their cars was affected by the unidentified object, which sometimes reportedly was not 
seen until after the malfunction was noted. No satisfactory explanation for such effects, if indeed they occurred, is apparent. 

A search for residual indirect physical evidence failed to yield any recorded or othenA/ise verified instances which establish a 
relationship between an UFO and an alteration in electric or local magnetic fields or in radiation intensity. The Northeast electric power 



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failure appears adequately explained without reference to the action of UFOs. No evidence has been presented to this project that 
supports the claim that any such power failure was UFO related. 

In addition to instrument readings, residual effects on materials can also be investigated. Magnetic mapping of affected automobile 
bodies, if used with proper reservation, is suggested as one useful procedure for obtaining such evidence, since the original magnetic 
pattern of the body of a given automobile can be determined. 

BACK TO TOP 

References 

Blades, Jehu, Cdr, USN, Communication. Project File 1257-P, 1967. 

Hall, Richard, H., The UFO Evidence, NICAP, Washington, D.C., 1964, 73ff. 

Project Blue Book Status Report No. 10; 27 February 1953, 2. 

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BACK TO TOP 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 1: 1962 Corvair Front Deck 



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WINDSHIELD 



8 + 
7 + 
6 + 
5+ 

4+ 
3 + 

2 + 

I . 



9 
+ 



10 
+ 



25 



li 
+ 



12 
+ 



AREA 
A 



Il3 14 



+ 26 
27 

+ 28 



+ 29 



+ 30 

k 

180° M. 



15 16-17 18 
+ * +. 



+ 19 

] 

+ 20 

+ 2t 

+ 22 

+ 23 
24 




— 6' 



Figure 1 

Corvair Front Deck 
(Test Points for IVIagnetic IVIeasurements) 



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Chapter 5 

Optical and Radar Analyses of Field Cases 
Gordon O. Thayer 



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1 



1 ■ Introduction 

2. Presentation of Radio Refractive Index Data 

3. Analysis of Selected UFO Incidents by Classes 

4. Summary of Results 

5. Conclusions and Recommendations for Further Work 
References 

BACK to Contents 



NCAS EDITORS' NOTE: The numbering of sections in this chapter has been corrected; in the original report, both the Analysis 
and Summary sections mre numbered 3. 



1. Introduction 

In Chapters 4 and 5 of Section VI unusual atmospheric conditions causing anomalous propagation of electromagnetic waves are 
described. In the present chapter an analysis is made of some of the most puzzling UFO phenomena. Most of them involve combined 
radar and visual contacts. All 31 combined radar-visual sightings, two visual-only, and two radar-only cases in the project files are 
analyzed in an effort to determine whether or not anomalous modes of propagation could account for the details of such sightings. 
Since both visual and radar sightings are analyzed below, readers whose familiarity with atmospheric propagation of light and radio 
waves is limited are urged to read Chapters 4 and 5, Section VI, before reading what follows in the present chapter. 

In evaluating UFO phenomena it is seldom possible to arrive at an incontrovertible conclusion; rather, it is necessary to introduce 
admissable hypotheses and then attempt to determine the probability of their correctness through the study of generally inadequate 
data. In the case of the anomalous propagation hypothesis, extreme examples of anomalous propagation imply extreme conditions in 
the state of the atmosphere, and data on these unusual atmospheric conditions are either scarce or non-existent. Meteorological 
measurements that may be on record for a time and place appropriate to a particular UFO incident will usually be only generally 
indicative of the propagation conditions that existed during the incident. The meteorological instrumentation necessary to record the 
extremely sharp gradients of temperature [and] of humidity that are associated with strong partial reflections of electromagnetic waves 
is either beyond the state of the art or so difficult to 

[[173]] 



construct and operate that the measurements required have not yet been attempted. 

Nevertheless, there is strong inferential evidence that such sharp gradients do exist in the atmosphere (see Section VI, Chapter 4), but 
experiments capable of detecting such gradients have not been made. The fact that, for example, a temperature change of 1 0°C over 
a distance of 1 cm. has not yet been observed in the free atmosphere is not proof that such gradients do not exist. 

The following set of hypotheses were considered as possible explanations for each of the UFO phenomena studied: 

1 . That the phenomenon was caused by a mechanical or other device designed for transportation, surveillance, or other related 
objectives, and which may or may not have been controlled by extraterrestrial beings. 

2. That the phenomenon was caused by a conventional airplane, it balloon, blimp, or other man made device. 

3. That it was a natural phenomenon, star, meteor, etc., perhaps seen under unusual circumstances; 

4. That it was an unknown natural phenomenon; 

5. That it was a product of unusual conditions of radar or optical propagation, possibly involving natural or artificial phenomena 
observed and/or recorded in unusual aspect. 

The purpose of the investigation reported in this chapter was to determine, for the 35 cases included, the extent to which hypothesis 
No. 5, either alone or in combination with Nos. 2 and 3 could satisfactorily account for the circumstances of the UFO report. In each 
case the probability that some other hypothesis, such as Nos. 1 or 4, could more satisfactorily account for the sighting had to be 
evaluated. 

There is always the danger in this sort of procedure that the true explanation for a particular event is not contained in a given set of a 
priori hypotheses. One obvious omission from the list above is the hypothesis that a particular UFO report was a hoax. Since 

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hoaxes are not part of the subject matter of this chapter, all cases have been studied under the assumption that all observers involved 
were reporting, to the best of their abilities and beliefs, the details of an event which they did not fully understand. 



The 35 UFO cases examined in this chapter were classified using the following criteria: 

I. Primarily visual This class includes those cases where the first and most significant contact was visual, or where the 
visual contact was preponderant and more positive than any radar contacts. 

A. Star-like Cases where the visual reports were of one or more small, bright objects without pronounced 
motion, round or without definite shape. Cases where visual description appeared to be similar to a diffracted 
star-like object were also included. 

B. Meteor-like Cases where visual reports resembled meteor phenomena: rapidly moving star-like object, or 
small glowing object, with or without "smoke trails", sparks, fragmentation, etc. 

C. Blurry light or glow Cases where descriptions were of a blurry or glowing object of undefined or amorphous 
shape. 

D. Other Cases not fitting any of the above three criteria. Six cases were in this sub-group, including one dark, 
opaque, "jelly-fish" shaped object, three balloon-like objects, one aircraft-like object and one well-defined, 
structured saucer-shaped object. 

II. Primarily radar This class includes those cases where the first and most significant contact was by radar, or where the 
radar contact was preponderant and more positive than any visual contacts. 

A. AP-like Cases where the radar scopes showed a confused or random distribution of images, blips that 
showed erratic or discontinuous motion, or other patterns bearing a general similarity to anomalous 
propagation (AP) returns. 

[[175]] 



B. Blip-like Cases where the radar target (or targets) showed characteristics similar to the return from a solid 
object (such as an aircraft, etc.), and where the target did not display erratic or discontinuous behavior. 
Acceleration or velocity in excess of known aircraft capabilities, or periods of immobility, were not considered 
to be contrary to normal target behavior. 

In the following section cases of particular interest are treated in detail; these cases generally fall into one of three categories: 

a. Cases that are good examples of inconsistencies tending to confuse any conclusions that might be arrived at; 

b. Cases that are typical of a sub-group of UFO reports that have the same probable explanation; 

c. Cases that are difficult or seemingly impossible to explain in terms of known phenomena. 

BACK TO TOP 

2. Presentation of Radio Refractive Index Data 

Two methods of presenting vertical profiles of radio refractivity in graphical form are used in this chapter. Both methods are based on 
the use of the radio refractivity, N, where 

N = (n-1)x10^ 

since the radio refractive index, n, is always very close to unity in the atmosphere. The maximum value of N that is likely to be 
encountered in the atmosphere is not much over 400; values close to 500 may occasionally be experienced over the surface of the 
Dead Sea, 1200 ft. below sea level, in the summer months. 

A feature of all vertical profiles of N is a general decrease with height; the departures of any given profile from the average decrease 
with height are the significant features for anomalous propagation of radio waves. Therefore the refractive index profiles illustrated for 
many of the UFO cases in the following section are given informs of A-units (Bean, 1966a) where 

[[176]] 



A(z) = N(z) + 313(1-e-0-14386z). 

here N(z) is the actual refractivity profile, a function of height, z, in kilometers, and the last term represents the average decrease with 
height of an average radio refractivity profile 

N(z) = 313e-0-14386z 

The number 313 is an average surface refractivitv value. An N-orofile that is not abnormal will, when plotted on a araoh with Afz) as 



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abscissa and zas ordinate, appear as a fairly, straight vertical line, perhaps with a slight tilt in one direction or the other. On the other 
hand, an N-profile with strongly super-refractive or subrefractive display a marked zigzag character on an A(z) vs. z plot. The use of A- 
units allows a more generous scale size for the abscissa than would be the case for N-unit plots. 



Ray tracings, calculated and plotted by a digital computer, are illustrated for a few of the refractivity profiles. The computer also 
calculates the M-profile, and plots it on the same graph as the ray tracing. M-units are defined by 

M(z) = N(z) + z/a 

Where "a" is the radius of the earth. This is equivalent, to adding 156.9 N-units per km. to the observed profile. Since the ducting 
gradient (see Chapter VI-4) is -156.9 N. km"^ any layer with such a gradient will be represented on an M(z) plot as a vertical line. 
Layers with dN/dz > -156.9 km"^ (not ducting) will show a trace slanting up to the right, whereas strong ducts with dN/dz < -156.9 km' 
will show a trace slanting up to the left. Hence the M-unit plot is very convenient for exposing the existence or non-existence of radio 
ducts in N(z) data. 

BACK TO TOP 

3. Analysis of Selected UFO Incidents by Classes. 

in the discussions that follow the UFO incidents are referred to by the case numbers assigned to them in the UFO project files. The 

[[177]] 



letter refers to the origin of the case: B-number cases are from USAF Project Blue Book files, N-numbers are for cases supplied by 
NICAP (National Investigations Committee for Aerial Phenomena), C-numbers refer to cases that were investigated by personnel of 
the Colorado project, and X-numbers were given to cases that were received after the cut-off date for inclusion in the regular files (i.e., 
after the computer analysis of all project file cases had already been completed). X-number cases are also identified by their B-, N-, or 
C- number. 



CLASS I: PRIMARILY VISUAL 

l-A: Star-like cases. 

I-B: Meteor-like cases. 

I-C: Blurry light or glow. 

1-D: Miscellaneous appearance. 



CLASS II: PRIMARILY RADAR 

ll-A: Returns of an AP-like nature. 

Il-B: Returns mostly single, sharp, aircraft-like. 



Class l-A: Primarily visual, star-like cases. 

1321 -B. This is a good example of a misidentified star combined with an apparently uncorrelated radar return causing an UFO report 
to be generated. The incident took place at Finland Air Force Base (60 mi. NE of Duluth), Minn., with a civilian sighting near Grand 
Marais, Minn., (50 mi. NE of Finland AFB)onthe night of 5-6 September 1966, between 2130 and 0015 LST (0330-0615 GMT). The 
weather was clear, ceiling unlimited, visibility more than 15 mi.; a display of Aurora Borealis was in progress. Applicable radio 
refractivity profile is shown in Fig. 1 . Visual reports of a "white-red-green" object "moving but not leaving its general location" were 
received at Finland AFB about 21 30 LST. An FPS-90 search radar was activated but there was "too much clutter to see anything in 
that area ..." At 2200 LST a return was detected; it "flitted around in range from 13 to 54 mi.., but always stayed on the 270° azimuth." 
A pair of F-89s was scrambled from Duluth AFB and searched the area at altitudes of 8,000-10,000 ft. The two aircraft "merged with 
blip, apparently wrong altitude, no airborne sighting"; the radar operators insisted the target was at 8,000-10,000 ft., the same altitude 
at which the scrambled aircraft were flying. The pilots reported that they "only observed what was interpreted to be a beacon 
reflection." 

Available meteorological data show that the winds were southwesterly, 7 knots at the surface, and northerly (320° to 30° at 

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Figure 1 : International Falls 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[179]] 



25 to 65 knots aloft. The closest available radiosonde data (international Falls 1200 GMT 0600 LST) 6 September, show a 
temperature inversion and strong humidity lapse through a layer extending from 1029-1259 m. above the surface. The gradient of 
radio refractivity through this layer averaged -1 14N/km (corrected for radiosonde sensor lag). This layer would be expected to show a 
significant partial reflection at radio frequencies. If the layer were present over Finland AEB at the same elevation, it could have 
produced false targets by partial reflection of real ground targets, which would have appeared to be at altitudes of from 8,300-9,800 
feet because of the geometry of such reflected targets (sec. Section VI, Chapter 5). This agrees well with the reported "UFO" altitudes 
of 8,000-1 0,000 ft. 

Anomalous propagation echoes are not usually confined to a single direction. There are three possible explanations in this case and 
in other similar cases: a single real object was being tracked; the radar operators were not looking for targets on other azimuths; the 
partially reflecting layer may have been anisotropic (i.e. displaying a preferred direction for strongest reflection). There is no direct 
physical evidence for the existence of such anisotropic layers, but no studies have been made to determine whether or not they might 
exist. Apparent anisotropy in radar AP returns has often been observed, although not usually over such a narrow azimuth range as was 
apparently the case at Finland AFB. 

Regarding the visual reports submitted, the comment of the investigating officer at Finland AFB is of particular interest: 

The next evening, at 2200 hours, the "white-red-green" object reappeared in the sky at exactly the same position it had 
appeared on 5 September. This officer observed it and determined it to be a star which was near the horizon 

[[180]] 



and would settle beneath the horizon after midnight. It did appear to "sparkle" in red-green-white colors, but so do other 
stars which can be pointed out from this mountain top. 

The officer refers to Rangoon Mountain, elevation 1 ,927 ft., from which many of the visual observations were made. 

The star that the officer saw was in all probability Lambda Scorpio (Shaula) a magnitude 1.7 star at -37° declination and 17 hr. 31 min. 
right ascension. It would have set atjust about 1:30 a.m. 90th meridian time, if the horizon were unobstructed. An obstruction of only 4° 
would cause Lambda Scorpio to "set" at 1 :15 a.m. CST; a 4° angle is equivalent to a 35 ft. tree or building at a distance of 500 ft. The 
southerly declination would indicate that the star was in the southwest, which is compatible with the visual reports that were submitted. 

Additional meteorological effects may have been present in this case. In particular, the southwesterly surface winds present are quite 
likely to have advected relatively cool, moist air from nearby Lake Superior under the elevated warm, dry layer noted previously, thus 
tending to increase the strength of the inversion and associated humidity lapse. Some of the optical effects noticed by the observers 
in this instance, strong red-green scintillation, apparent stretching of the image into a somewhat oval shape, and the red fringe on the 
bottom, may have been due to strong and irregular local refraction effects in the inversion layer (or layers). 

This UFO report seems to have resulted from a combination of an unusually scintillating star and false radar targets caused byAP 
from a strong elevated layer in the atmosphere. This pattern is found in a number of other cases. 

Reports with elements similar to the preceding case are: 

113-B.* Nemuro AF Detachment, Hokkaido, Japan, 7 February 1953, 2230 LST (1230 GMT). Weather was clear. Visual description 
fits a scintillating star (flashing red and green, later white with intermittent 



*Case numbers referred to thusly are so listed in the project's files. 

[[181]] 



red and green flashes, then later steady white) rising in the east (only motion was slow gain in altitude, "[I believe] that the object did 
not move with respect to the stars in its vicinity"). CPS-5 radar painted a single pip at 85° azimuth, range 165 mi., which operator 



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regarded as interference. Visual object was boresighted with radar antenna and azimuth read as 91°±2°. Elevation estimated as 15° 
initially (2230 LST). No stars brighter than magnitude 3 were in this azimuth between 0° and 30° elevation angle at that time. Blue 
Book file suggests Deneb or Regulus as likely objects, but their positions are far away from the sighted object. In view of two 
observers' comments that light "shown from beneath" object, it is very probable that they saw a lighted Pibal balloon, possibly 
launched from the Russian-held Kurile Islands to the east and northeast of Hokkaido (launch time 1200 GMT). The investigating officer 
noted the exceptionally good visibility prevalent in the area on clear nights. 

1306-B. Edwards AFB, Kernville, Calif., 30 July 1967, 2217-2400 LST. Weather: clear, calm, warm (83°F). Two civilians reported 
observing one or two blue, star-like objects that appeared to circle, bob, and zigzag about a seemingly fixed star; these objects 
"instantly disappeared" about 1 hr. 45 min. after sighting. Edwards AFB RAPCON radar picked up "something" at about 2230 LST 
"for several sweeps." Blip seemed to be moving south at about 50-60 mph. There is no apparent connection between the radar and 
visual reports. The visual UFO did not appear to move at 50-60 mph. Data, including weather data, on this report are insufficient to 
form an opinion. The most likely possibility seems to be that the visual LJFO consisted of the direct image plus one or two reflected 
images of the "fixed star" that the observer reported. What may have produced the reflected images remains conjectural. For 
example, a turbulent layer of air with strong temperature contrasts could produce images similar to those described by the witnesses. 
The instantaneous disappearance of the UFOs is consistent with an optical phenomenon. 

[[182]] 



As for the radar "track", a blip appearing for only "a few sweeps" could be almost anything: noise, AP, or possibly a real target flying 
near the lower limits of the radar beam. 

1212-B. Tillamook, Ore., 13-14 March 1967, 2230-0008 LST. Weather: clear with "stars plainly visible," some ground fog, thin broken 
cirriform clouds estimated at 10,000 ft., visibility 15 mi. This is a good example of some of the confusion that arises in reporting UFO 
incidents. Initial visual observer reports indicated object at about 45° to 50° elevation angle, yet when the Mt. Hebo radar station 
"contacted target" it was at 39 mi. range, 9,200 ft. height. This is an elevation angle of only about 2°. This inconsistency seems to have 
gone unnoticed in the Project Blue Book file on the case. The radar target, as plotted, stayed at 39 mi. range and slowly increased 
height to 1 1 ,200 ft., then shifted almost instantaneously to 48 mi. range. Subsequently the radar target slowly gained altitude and 
range, disappearing at 55 mi. and 14,000 ft. (still atabout a 2° elevation angle). The azimuth varied between 332° and 341° during 
this time. Average apparent speed of the radar track was low: the first part of the track was at zero ground speed and a climb rate of 
about 100 ft/min, the second part of the track was at an average ground speed of about 16 mph. and a climb rate of about 100 ft/min. 
In between there is a jump of 9 mi. range in one minute, a speed of 540 mph. The characteristics of this radar track are suggestive of 
radar false targets or slow-moving AP echoes. The jump may be a point where one echo was lost, and another, different echo began 
coming in. This effect is apparently a frequent cause of very high reported speeds of UFOs (Borden, 1953). The visual reports are 
suggestive of either a scintillating star if the reported angle is higher than actual, or an aircraft. There was an electronic warfare aircraft 
"orbiting" at high altitude seaward of Tillamook at the time of the sighting, and 

[[183]] 



it seems quite plausible that this was the visual UFO. However, this was discounted in the Blue Book report because the aircraft's 
position it did not check with the radar contact. 

115-B. Carswell AFB (Fort Worth area), Tex., 13 February 1953, 0235 LST. Weather: clearwith visibility unlimited; temperature 
inversion layer with sharp humidity lapse at 3,070 ft. altitude, elevated radio duct at 4,240 ft. altitude. Applicable refractivity profile for 
0300 LST shown in Fig.. 2. Visual observers saw a "formation" of three bright lights which performed a series of maneuvers 
suggestive of an aircraft with landing lights doing several rolls and then climbing rapidly and heading away. Operators then attempted 
to pick up the object on an APG 41 radar, and after about two minutes they brought in two apparently stationary targets on the correct 
azimuth. It seems likely that these returns were from ground objects seen via partial reflection from the strong elevated layers 
(gradients -154 and -31 1 km"^). The visual sighting was probably an aircraft. 

237-B. Haneda AFB (Tokyo), Japan, 5-6 August 1952, 2330-0030 LST. Weather: "exceptionally good," 0.3 cloud cover about 10 mi. 
north and 10 mi. south of the contact area, "excellent visibility," isolated patches of low clouds, Mt. Fuji (60 n. mi.) "clearly discernible," 
scattered thunderstorms in mountains northwest, temperature at Haneda 78° F, dew point 73° F. Observers saw a bright, round light 
(about 1 mrad arc) surrounded by an apparently dark field four times larger, the lower circumference of which tended to show some 
bright beading. It was low in the sky at about 30° -50° azimuth. Object appeared to fade twice, during which time it appeared as a dim 
point source. It disappeared, possibly becoming obscured by clouds, after about an hour. The sky at Haneda AFB was overcast by 
0100 LST. One of the visual observers noted that near the end of the sighting the object seemed somewhat higher in the sky and that 
the moon seemed proportionately higher in elevation. The pilot of a C-54 aircraft coming in for a 

[[184]] 



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f 


r < 


1 




::: it: ::5 :k Tio zk 





Figure 2: Carswell AFB 



Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[185]] 



landing was directed to observe tlie object and lie replied that it looked like a brilliant star, and he dismissed the sighting as such. 

When the controller at Shiroi AFB was asked to look for target on GCI radar, he could find nothing for 15 min. He stated: "There were 
three or four blips on low beam but none I could definitely get a movement on or none I could get a reading on the RHI (range-height 
indicator) scope." A new controller taking over at 2345 LST "believed" he made radar contact with the object and an F-94 was 
scrambled. This officer stated: "The target was in a right orbit moving at varying speeds. It was impossible to estimate speed due to 
the short distances and times involved." By the time the F-94 arrived in the area of the "bogie," Shiroi GCI had lost radar contact; 
regaining contact at 001 7 LST "on a starboard orbit in the same area as before." The F-94 was vectored in to the target, and at this 
point the timing becomes confused. The Shiroi controller states that the F-94 "reported contact at 0025 (LST) and reported losing 
contact at 0028 (LST)." The F-94 radar operator states: "At 001 6 (LST) I picked up a radar contact at 1 0° port, 1 0° below, at 6,000 yd. 
The target was rapidly moving from port to starboard and a lock-on could not be accomplished. A turn to the starboard was instigated 
[sic] to intercept target which disappeared on scope in approximately 90 sec. No visual contact was made with the unidentified 
target." Shiroi GCI had lost the F-94 in ground clutter, and had also lost the target. It is not clear whether the GCI radar ever tracked the 
fast-moving target described by the F-94 crew. The maximum range of the F-94's radar is not given in the Blue Book report. 

The F-94 pilot stated that the weather was very good with "exceptional visibility of 60-70 miles," yet this fast-moving UFO, obviously far 
exceeding the F-94's airspeed about 375 knots), was seen by neither the aircraft crew nor the observers on the ground at Shiroi GCI 
even though the UFO track crossed over very close to Shiroi GCI number four. There are many other inconsistencies in the 

[[186]] 



report of the incident besides the timing and the lack of visual contact by the F-94 crew. The bright, quasi-stationary object sighted NE 
of Haneda AFB, and seen also from Tachikawa AFB (about 30 mi. west of Haneda AFB), should have been visible to the south of 
Shiroi AFB, but was never seen by any of a large number of persons there who attempted such observations. Also, at 0012 LST the 
object being tracked by GCI's CPS-I radar reportedly "broke into three smaller contacts maintaining an interval of about 1/4 mile." The 
blips on the CPS-I were described as small and relatively weak, but sharply defined. 

Two things seem apparent: 

1 . the object seen at Haneda and Tachikawa AFB was much farther away than the observers realized; 

2. the visual UFO and the target tracked by radar were not the same. 

The first statement is supported by the inability of the observers at Shiroi to see anything to the south; the second statement is 
supported by numerous inconsistencies between the visual and radar sightings. The two most important of these latter are: 

1 . During times when the GCI radar could not find the target, the visual object was in about the same location as during those times 
when it could be found on radar; 

2. The visual object was seen for at least five min. after the time when the airborne radar on the F-94 indicated that the UFO had 
left the area at a speed well in excess of 300 mph. 

The most likely light source to have produced the visual object is the star Capella (magnitude 0.2), which was 8° above horizon at 37° 
azimuth at 2400 LST. The precise nature of the optical propagation mechanism that would have produced such a strangely diffracted 
image as reported by the Haneda AFB observers must remain conjectural. Complete weather data are not available for this case, but 
it is known that the light SSE circulation of moist air from Tokyo Bay was overlain by a drier SW flow aloft. A sharp temperature 
inversion may have existed at the top of this moist layer, below which patches of fog or 

[[187]] 



mist could collect. The observed diffraction pattern could have been produced by either 

1 . interference effects associated with propagation within and near the top of an inversion, or 



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2. a corona with a dark aureole produced by a mist of droplets of water of about 0.2 mm. diameter spaced at regular intervals as 
described by Minnaert(1954). 

In either event, the phenomenon must he quite rare. The brightness of the image may have been due in part to "Raman brightening" of 
an image seen through an inversion layer. 

Nor can exact nature of the radar propagation effects be evaluated, due to the lack of complete weather data. However, a substantial 
inference that the radar returns were of an anomalous propagation nature is derived from: 

1. the tendency for targets to disappear and reappear; 

2. the tendency for the target to break up into smaller targets; 

3. the apparent lack of correlation between the targets seen on the GCI and airborne radars; 

4. the radar invisibility of the targetwhen visibility was "exceptionally good." 

Singly, each of the above could be interpreted in a different light, but taken together they are quite suggestive of an anomalous 
propagation cause. 

In summary, it appears that the most probable causes of this UFO report are an optical effect on a bright light source that produced 
the visual sighting and unusual radar propagation effects that produced the apparent UFO tracks on radar. 

104-B. Goose AFB, Labrador, 15 December 1952, 1915-1940 Local Mean Solar Time. Weather: clear and visibility unlimited (30 
mi.). The crews of an F-94B fighter and a T-33 jet trainer saw a bright red and white object at 27° azimuth while flying at 14,000 ft. The 
aircraft attempted an intercept at 375 knots indicated air speed, but 

[[188]] 



could not close on the UFO. After 25 min. of reported chase, although the aircraft had covered a distance of only about 20 mi. (about 
3.5 min. at 350 knots ground speed) the object faded and disappeared. During the chase, the radar operator in the F-94B had a 
momentary lock-on to an unknown target at about the correct azimuth for the UFO. Since this was so brief, it was felt (by Air 
Intelligence, presumably) that the set had malfunctioned. No GCI contact was made. 

The official Air Force explanation for this UFO incident is that the aircraft were chasing Venus which was setting about the time of the 
sighting, and that the radar "target" was simply a malfunction. It seems likely that this explanation is essentially correct. However, it is 
unlikely that experienced pilots would have chased a normal-appearing setting Venus. It is more probable that the image of Venus 
was distorted by some optical effect, possibly a slight superior mirage, and that loss of the mirage-effect (or the interposing of a cloud 
layer) caused the image to fade away. All items of the account maybe explained bythis hypothesis, including the report that the object 
had "no definite size or shape," as the image would no doubt be somewhat "smeared" by imperfections in the mirage-producing 
surface. The small-angle requirement of a mirage is satisfied since the pilots reported the object seemed to stay at the same level as 
the aircraft, regardless of altitude changes that they made (another indication of great distance). 

14-N. This file actually consists of two similar cases reported by a Capital Airlines pilot with 17 years and 3,000,000 mi. logged. The 
first case occurred over central Alabama the night of 14 November 1956; the second case was on the night of 30 August 1957, over 
Chesapeake Bay near Norfolk, Va. 

The first sighting took place about 60 mi. NNE of Mobile, Ala. while on a flight from New York to Mobile in a Viscount at "high altitude," 
probably about 25,000 ft. It was a moonless, starry night 

[[189]] 



and there was an occasionally broken undercast. The object seen was described as an intense blue-white light about 1/1 0 the size of 
the moon (~3' arc) and about "seven or eight times as bright as Venus at its brightest magnitude." It first appeared 221 0 LST at the 
upper left of the Viscount's windshield falling towards the right and decelerating rapidly as a normal meteor would. Pilot and co-pilot 
both took it to be an unusually brilliant meteor. However, this "meteor" did not burn out as expected, but "abruptly halted directly in front 
of us and began to hover motionless." The aircraft at this time was over Jackson, Ala. and had descended to 1 0,000 ft. The pilot 
contacted Bates Field control tower in Mobile and asked if they could see the object which he described to them as "a brilliant white 
light bulb." They could not see it. The pilot then asked Bates to contact nearby Brookley AFB to see if they could plot the object on 
radar. He never learned what the result of this request had been. The object began maneuvering "darting hither and yon, rising and 
falling in undulating f light, making sharper turns than any known aircraft, sometimes changing direction 90° in an instant ~ the color 
remained constant, ~ and the object did not grow or lessen in size. "After a "half minute or so" of this maneuvering, the object suddenly 
became motionless again. Again, the object "began another series of crazy gyrations, lazy eights, square chandelles, all the while 
weaving through the air with a sort of rhythmic, undulating cadence." Following this last exhibition, the object "shot out over the Gulf of 
Mexico, rising at the most breath-taking angle and at such a fantastic speed that it diminished rapidly to a pinpoint and was swallowed 
up in the night." 

The whole incident took about two minutes. The pilot remembers noting that the time was 2212 EST. The object appeared to be at the 
same distance from the aircraft, which was flying a little faster than 300 mph. during the entire episode. 

[[19011 



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The second incident reported by this pilot, the 30 August 1 957, Chesapeake Bay report, occurred as he was flying another Capital 
Airlines Viscount at 12,000 ft. approaching Norfolk, Va. There was a Northeast Airlines DC-6 flying at 20,000 ft. "directly above" the 
Viscount. In this case, the object "was brilliant; it flew fast and then abruptly halted 20 mi. in front of us at 60,000 ft. altitude." The 
Northeast pilot looked for the object on radar and "could get no return on his screen with the antenna straight ahead but when tilted 
upward 1 5° he got an excellent blip right where I told him to look for the object." 

This object "dissolved right in front of my eyes, and the crew above lost it from the scope at the same time. They said it just faded 
away. This sighting covered "several minutes." 

These two similar sightings are very difficult to account for. The first sighting over Alabama has most of the characteristics of an 
optical mirage: an object at about the same altitude seeming to "pace" the aircraft, the meanderings being easily accountable for as 
normal "image wander." However, there are two aspects that negate this hypothesis: 

1 . the manner of appearance and disappearance of the UFO is inconsistent with the geometry of a mirage; the high angle of 
appearance at the top of the windshield is particularly damaging in this regard; 

2. there was no known natural or astronomical object in the proper direction to have caused such a mirage. Venus, the only 
astronomical object of sufficient brightness, was west of the sun that date; Saturn had set 4 hr. 30 mm. earlier, and there was not 
even a first magnitude star near 190° -210° azimuth, 0° elevation angle. 

The second sighting is equally difficult to explain as a mirage, which seems to be the only admissable natural explanation in view of 
the pilot's experience as an observer. The reasons are twofold: 

1 . the apparent angle at which the object was observed is incompatible 

[[191]] 



with a mirage; 

2. there was apparently a radar return obtained from the object which is incompatible with the hypothesis that it was an 
astronomical object, the most likely mirage-producer. 

The pilot stated that the Northeast DC-6 flying at 20,000 ft. "painted" the UFO at 1 5° elevation and a range of 20 mi . This would place 
the UFO at about 48,500 ft., the pilots estimate of 60,000 ft. apparently being in error. Presumably then, the elevation angle as viewed 
from the Capital Viscount was about 19°. It is very unlikely that any temperature inversion sufficient to produce a mirage would be tilted 
at such an angle. For a near-horizontal layer to have produced such an image (plus the radar return) by partial reflection of a ground- 
based object seems equally unlikely. The largest optical partial reflection that such a layer might produce at an angle of 19° would be 
about 10"^^ as bright as the object reflected (see Section VI, Chapter 4). This is a decrease of 35 magnitudes. Such a dim object 
would be ordinarily invisible to the unaided eye. 

In summary, these two cases must be considered as unknowns. 

1065-B. Charleston, S. C, 16 January 1967, 1810 LST. The observational data in this case are insufficient to determine a probable 
cause for the sighting. A civilian "walked out of his house and saw" two round objects. He estimated that they were about 30° above 
the horizon. They appeared to be "silver and blue, with a red ring." These objects were alternately side by side and one above the 
other, and a beam of light issued "from the tail end." The observer does not state how he knew which was the "tail end," or even at 
what azimuth he saw the objects. They "vanished in place," still at 30° elevation. After the Charleston AFB was notified of the sighting, 
some unidentified returns were picked up on an MPS-14 search radar. An investigating officer later determined that these returns 
were spurious. The case file states: 

[[192]] 



[The officer] called [8 March 1967] to provide additional information in regard to the radar sighting. [The officer] was 
informed by the Charleston AFB that the radar paints were not of UFOs. A check of the equipment was made and it was 
learned that the individual monitoring the radar set had the "gain" [control] on the height finder turned up to the "high" 
position. This caused the appearance of a lot of interference on the radar scope. Personnel at Charleston AFB 
determined the paints on the radar to be this interference. The personnel turned the gain on high again and picked up 
more "UFOs". When the gain was turned down the UFOs disappeared. 

There apparently were no radar UFOs in this case. The residue is a visual sighting by a single observer with insufficient data for 
evaluation. What the observer saw could conceivably have been 

a. a mirage with direct and reflected images of a planet (Jupiter w'as at 68° azimuth, 5° elevation) or a bright star, 

b. an aircraft, or 

c. a genuine unknown (i.e., a possible ETI object). There is no real evidence eitherfor or against any of these possibilities. 



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1 



Class l-B: Primarily visual, meteor-like cases. 

1323-B. SaultSaint Marie AFB, Mich., 18 September 1966, 0100 LST. Weather: clear, calm. There is a very brief Blue Book file on 
this incident. Two sergeants of the 753rd Radar Squadron saw a bright light, ellliptical in shape and apparently multicolored of 
unsaturated hues, which appeared low over the treetops to the SE and moved in a straight line toward the west, disappearing 
"instantaneously" inthe WSW. Duration of this sighting was 2-5 sec. The report states that the object was also tracked bya long- 
range AN/FPS-90 heightfinder with azimuth, range, and altitude "available on request." Since this 

[[193]] 



information is not included in the folder, no firm conclusion may be reached as to the probable cause of the radar sighting or even as 
to whether or not the radar and visual objects were correlated. 

The general visual appearance, brightness range, motion and mode of disappearance are all compatible with the hypothesis that the 
object was a large meteor. Some large meteors display even more unusual appearance than this report. If it was a meteor, the radar 
may have actually tracked it; radar tracks of large meteors are not unknown. Of course, the radar track may have been spurious, or 
may have indicated that the object was unnatural. The tracking data would be required to settle the point. 

The radio refractivity profile for 0600 LST, shown if Fig. 3 indicates that an intense super-refractive layer existed within the first 372 m. 
(1220 ft.) above the surface. This profile is conducive to the formation of AP echoes on ground-based radar, so there is some 
possibility that the observed radar data in this UFO incident may have been spurious. This case would seem to merit further 
investigation. 

1206-N. Edmonton, Alberta, 6 April 1967, 2125-2200 LST. Weather: "very clear," cool, temperature about 35°F, little or no wind at 
surface, stars "bright," no moon. Observers state that a bright object appeared in the NNW low on the horizon, moving fast, appeared 
to hover, and then disappeared. The night before, a whitish object like a normal star "only much larger" had appeared in the same 
place (NNW). A Pacific Western Airlines pilot independently reported "chasing" a UFO whose position was relayed to him by GCA 
radar from Edmonton International Airport. This UFO appeared to move somewhat erratically, was seen only briefly by the pilot as a 
"reddish-orange lighted effect," and did not travel the same course as the visual object described above. 

The general atmospheric conditions prevailing during this sighting were conducive to AP. The description of the GCA radar track is 
suggestive of AP (quasi-stationary target appearing to "jump" in position), and the description of the UFO of 5 April is suggestive of 
the diffracted image of a star seen through a sharp temperature 

[[194]] 





I'-.T Sil T k^ec 1 / 



























Figure 3: Sault Saint Marie 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[195]] 



inversion. In the absence of detailed meteorological data, the most probable conclusion seems to be that the primary sighting was a 
meteor and that no genuine UFO case exists here. However, this case also might merit a more intensive investigation. 

1207-B. Paris, Tex., 7 March 1967, 1645 LST. Weather: clear, visibility 15 mi. This is an unconfirmed report bya single observerwho 
could not even be reached for verification of the report by members of this project staff. He claimed to have seen two lights that "made 
a 90° turn at high speed, appeared to separate and come back together again and then went straight up. Speed varied from fast to 
slow to fast, in excess of known aircraft speed." The last statement is the witness's interpretation. He stated that radar at Paris AFB 
had tracked this UFO, but all military radar installations in the area disclaim any UFO tracks that night. It seems probable that the 
visual sighting was either an aircraft, whose sound was not heard by the witness for some reason, or a pair of meteors on close, nearly 
parallel paths. The quick dimming of a meteor burning out may be interpreted as a 90° turn with sudden acceleration away from the 
observer of a nearly-constant light source, which then seems to disappear in the distance. 



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1 



Class l-C: Primarily visual, blurry light or glow. 

15-B. Blackhawk and Rapid City, S. Dak., and Bismarck, N. Dak., 5-6 August 1953, 2005-0250 LST. Weather: clear, excellent 
visibility, stable conditions, temperature inversions and radio surface ducts prevalent. See Fig. 4. The night was dark and moonless. 

The initial incident in this chain of UFO sightings was the sighting by a GOC (Ground Observers Corps) observer of a stationary "red 
glowing light" at 2005 LST near Blackhawk, S. Dak. This light soon began to move some 30° to the right, "shot straight up," and 
moved to the left, returning to its original position. A companion thought it was "just the red tower light" (a warning light on an FM 

[[196]] 




i-LNITS 



Figure 4: Bismark ND 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[197]] 



transmitter tower normally just visible from their location). The report was relayed to the Rapid City Filter Center, and three airmen from 
the radar site were sent outside to look for the UFO. They saw what was undoubtedly a meteor, judging from their description. The 
radar operator when informed of the new sighting began to search for unidentified targets. He found many. 

Over the course of the next four hours a large number of unidentified blips appeared on the Rapid City radar. Many of those were 
transitory, moving blips with a fairly short lifetime, usually being "lost in the ground clutter." An F-84 fighter was vectored in to a 
stationary blip near Blackhawk, and the pilot "chased" a UFO which he found at the location on a heading of 320 ° M. without gaining 
on it. The F-84 was probably chasing a star, in this case Pollux (mag. 1 .2) which was in the correct location (335° true azimuth, near 
the horizon). 

When the Blackhawk GOC post called in that the original object had returned for a third time, another F-84 was vectored in on the 
visual report, as no radar contact could be made. The pilot made a visual contact" and headed out on a 360 ° magnetic (~1 5° true) 
vector. At this point the radar picked up what apparently was ghost echo, that is, one that "paced" the aircraft, always on the far side 
from the radar. The fighter in this instance was probably chasing another star, the image of which may have been somewhat distorted. 
The pilot's report that the visual UFO was "pacing" him appears to have strengthened the radar operator's belief that he was actually 
tracking the UFO, and not a ghost echo. The star in this instance may well have been Mirfak (mag. 1 .9), which, at 2040 LST, was at 
azimuth 1 5 ° and about 5 ° to 7 ° elevation angle. The second pilot, upon being interviewed by Dr. Hynek, stated that he felt he had 
been chasing a star, although there were some aspects of the 

[[198]] 



appearance of the object that disturbed him. He also stated that the radar gunlock. which he had reported by radio during the chase, 
was due to equipment malfunction, and that the radar gunsight continued to malfunction on his way back to the base. This equipment 
was never subsequently checked for malfunctioning (i.e., not before or during the official AF investigation of the incident). 

The Bismarck, N. Dak. sightings began when the Bismarck Filter Center was alerted to the "presence of UFO's" by Rapid City. At 
2342 LST the sergeant on duty there and several volunteer observers went out on the roof and shortly spotted four objects. The 
descriptions of these objects by the various observers were consistent with the hypothesis that they were stars, although some 
apparent discrepancies caused early AF investigators to deduce by crude triangulations that the sighted objects must have been 
nearby. It now appears that all four objects were stars viewed through a temperature inversion layer. The observers stated that the 
objects resembled stars, but that their apparent motion and color changes seemed to rule out this possibility. 

Dr. Hynek's summary of the probable nature of the four Bismarck objects is enlightening: 

Object #1 , which was low on the horizon in the west and disappeared between midnight and 01 00 hr. was the star Arcturus 
observed through a surface inversion. Arcturus was low on the horizon in the west and set at approximately 1 220 (LST) at 
289 ° azimuth. 

1 



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Object #2 - was the star Capella observed through a surface inversion. At 001 1 CSTCapella was at 40° azimuth and 15 ° ' 
elevation ... [and] at 0200 CST [it] was at 53° azimuth and 30 ° elevation, which agrees with the positions given by [the two 
witnesses]. 

Objects #3 and #4 were, with a high degree of probability, the planet Jupiter and the star Betelgeuse, observed through 

[[199]] 



a surface inversion. Jupiter's ... stellar magnitude was -1 .7 [and it] was low on the eastern horizon at approximately 92° 
azimuth. Betelgeuse ... was also low on the eastern horizon at approximately 81 ° azimuth. 

The statement of one of the witnesses at Bismark includes the following comments: 

... they appeared much brighter than most of the stars and at times appeared to take ona rather dull bluish tint. 

They appeared to move in the heavens, but at a rather slow rate and unless a person braced his head against some 
stationary object to eliminate head movement it would be hard to tell that they were moving. 

The one in the west eventually disappeared below the horizon and the one in the northeast gradually seemed to blend in 
with the rest of the stars until it was no longer visible. 

The last statement is typical of the description given by witnesses who have apparently observed a bright star rising through an 
inversion layer. It would seem to be circumstantial evidence of the diffraction-brightening predicted by Raman for propagation along 
an inversion layer (see Section VI Chapter 4). However, there is an alternative explanation that simple diffractive blurring or smearing 
of a star's image, by spreading the available light over a larger area of the eye's retina, may cause a psychological illusion of 
brightening of the object. 

The meteorological conditions were generally favorable for anomalous propagation at both locations. The refractivity profile for Rapid 
City 2000 LST 5 August shows a 0.5 ° C temperature inversion over a layer 1 09 m. thick, although the resulting refractivity gradient is 
only -77 km"^ (Fig. 5). The 0800 LST profile (Fig. 6) shows a pronounced elevated 

[[200]] 




Figure 5: Rapid City 1 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[201]] 




Figure 6: Rapid City 2 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

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duct between 833 and 1 ,007 m. with a gradient of -297 km"^; a 3.2 ° elevated inversion is reported through this layer. A strong 



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inversion layer evidently formed during the night and was "lifted" to the 833 m. level by solar heating after sunrise at about 0500 LST. 



The Bismarck profile for 21 00 LST 5 August (Fig. 4) shows a 1.2°C temperature inversion between the surface and the 109 m. level, 
the resulting layer forming a radio duct with a refractivity gradient -182 km"^ It is noteworthy that the Bismarck sightings show more 
evidence of optical inversion-layer effects than the Rapid City sightings. 

In summary, the Rapid City-Bismarck sightings appear to have been caused by a combination of: 

1 . stars seen through an inversion layer, 

2. at least one meteor, 

3. AP echoes on a GCI radar, and 

4. possible ghost echoes on the GCI radar and malfunction of an airborne radar gunsight (although the commanding officer of the 
Rapid City detachment was later skeptical that there had in fact ever been even a ghost echo present on the GCI radar). 

Case 5*. Louisianna-Texas (Ft. Worth) area, 19 September 1957, sometime between midnight and 0300 LST. 

The weather was clear. The radio refractive index profiles for Ft. Worth, for 1730 and 0530 LST, 18-19 September 1957, are shown in 
Figs. 7 and 8. The aircraft was flying at an altitude between 30,000 and 35,000 ft. as recalled 10 years later by the witnesses involved. 
There was a slight temperature inversion at an altitude of 34,000 ft., which may have been associated with a jet stream to the north. 

There is a possibility that a very thin, intense temperature inversion was present that night over certain localized areas at an altitude of 
about 34,000 ft., a layer capable of giving strong reflections at both radar and optical frequencies. There are many aspects of the 
visual appearance of the UFO that are strongly suggestive of optical phenomena: the bright, white light without apparent substance, 
the 

*(cases referred to thusly are found in Section IV. 

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JVv ■j^'^j i;; ^ j i:v y-j :^'-> ■>;:; 



Figure?: Ft Worth 1 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[204]] 



- c 







Figures: Ft Worth 2 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[205]] 



turning on and off "like throwing a switch," the amorphous red glow without "any shape or anything of this nature." The radio refractivity 
profile for the time of the sighting, with several strong super-refractive layers, is conducive to the formation of radar AP echoes. The 
description of the GCI radar targets is suggestive of AP phenomena: 



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1 

All of a sudden they would lose it, or something. They had it and then they didn't, they weren't sure. There was a lot of 
confusion involved in it. They'd give you these headings to fly. It would appear to just - they had maybe a hovering - 
capability and then it would just be in a different location in no time at all. 

This type of behavior is typical of moving AP targets. The elevated duct shown on the Fort Worth profiles is very thick, and seems fully 
capable of causing these effects. 

In summary, it is possible to account for the major details of the sighting through three hypotheses: 

1. The UFO at 30,000 to 35,000 ft. may have been a combined radio-optical mirage of another aircraft, at great distance, flying just 
below a thin inversion layer which was also just above the B-47's flight path. This aircraft would have had to have 

a. displayed landing lights which were turned off (creating the first sighting), 

b. been equipped with 2800 MHz radar, and 

c. displayed a red running light (causing the red glow). 

2. The GCI UFOs were AP echoes. 

3. The last "red glow" at "1 5,000 feet" may have been a ground source, which became obscured or was turned off as the aircraft 
approached. 

There are many unexplained aspects to this sighting, however, and a solution such as is given above, although possible, does not 
seem highly probable. One of the most disturbing features of the 

[[206]] 



report is the radar operator's insistence, referring to ground and airborne radars, that " ... this would all happen simultaneously. 
Whenever we'd lose it, we'd all lose it. There were no "buts" about it, it went off." Another unexplained aspect is the large range of 
distances, bearing angles, and to some extent, altitudes covered by the UFO. The radar operator's comment that the return "had all 
the characteristics of - a ground site - CPS6B," indicates that an airborne radar source is unlikely due to the large power 
requirements. There remains the possibility that the "red glow" was the mirage of Oklahoma City which was in about the right direction 
for the original "red glow" and presumably had a CPS6B radar installation, but subsequent direction and location changes would 
seem to rule out this possibility and the grazing angle at the elevated inversion layer would be too large for a normal mirage to take 
place. 

In view of these considerations, and the fact that additional information on this incident is not available, no tenable conclusion can be 
reached. From a propagation standpoint, this sighting must be tentatively classified as an unknown. 

BACK TO SECTION 3 

Class 1-D: Primarily visual, miscellaneous appearance: balloon-like, aircraft-like, etc. 

Over Labrador, 30 June 1954, 2105-2127 LST. Weather: (at 1 9,000 ft.) clear, with a broken layer of stratocumulus clouds below, 
excellent visibility. No radar contact was made in this incident. A summary of the pilot's first-hand account of his experience reads: 

I was in command of a BOAC Boeing Strato cruiser en route from New York to London via Goose Bay Labrador (refuelling 
stop). Soon after crossing overhead Seven Islands at 19,000 feet. True 

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Airspeed 230 kts, both my copilot and I became aware of something moving along off our port beam at a lower altitude at 
a distance of maybe five miles, in and out of a broken layer of Strato Cumulus cloud. As we watched, these objects 
climbed above the cloud and we could now clearly see one large and six small. As we flew on towards Goose Bay the 
large object began to change shape and the smaller to move relative to the larger.... 

We informed Goose Bay that we had something odd insight and they made arrangements to vector a fighter (F94?) onto 
us. Later I changed radio frequency to contact this fighter; the pilot told me he had me in sight on radar closing me head-on 
at 20 miles. At that the small objects seemed to enter the larger, and then the big one shrank. I gave a description of this to 
the fighter and a bearing of the objects from me. I then had to change back to Goose frequency for descent clearance. I 
don't know if the fighter saw anything, as he hadn't landed when I left Goose for London. 

The description of the UFO in this case, an opaque, dark "jellyfish-like" object, constantly changing shape, is suggestive of an optical 
cause. Very little meteorological data are available for this part of the world on the date in question, so that the presence of significant 
optical propagation mechanisms can be neither confirmed nor ruled out. Nevertheless, certain facts in the case are strongly 

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suggestive of an optical mirage phenomenon: 



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1 



1 . The UFO was always within a few degrees of a horizontal plane containing the aircraft, thus satisfying the small-angle 
requirement; 

2. The aircraft flew at a steady altitude of 19,000 ft. for the 85 n. mi. over which the UFO appeared to "pace" the aircraft, thus the 
plane maintained a constant relationship to any atmospheric layer at a fixed altitude; 

3. The dark UFO was seen against a bright sky background within 5°-20 ° of the setting sun; nearly identical images, displaying 
"jellyfish-like" behavior may be commonly observed wherever mirages are observed with strong light-contrast present. The 
reflection of the moon on gently rippling water presents quite similar behavior. 

The suggestion is strong that the UFO in this case was a mirage: a reflection of the dark terrain below seen against the bright, "silvery" 
sky to the left of the setting sun. The reflecting layer would be a thin, sharp temperature inversion located at an altitude just above that 
of the cruising aircraft. Most of the facts in this incident can be accounted for by this hypothesis. The dark, opaque nature of the image 
arises from the contrast in brightness and the phenomenon of "total reflection." The arrangement of the large and small objects in a 
thin line just above the aircraft's flight path, as well as the manner of disappearance, are commensurate with a mirage As the mirage- 
producing layer weakens (with distance) or the viewing angle increases (was the aircraft beginning its descent at the time?), the 
mirage appears to dwindle to a point and disappears. This type of mirage is referred to as a superior mirage and has often been 
reported over the ocean (see Section VI, Chapter 4). 

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The principal difficulty with this explanation, besides having to hypothesize the existence of the mirage-producing layer, is how to 
account for the anisotropy of the mirage. Anisotropy of this sort, i.e., a mirage limited to certain viewing azimuths, is common in earth- 
bound mirages when viewed from a single location. But a mirage layer through which a reflected image could be seen only in one, 
constant principal direction (plus a few small "satellite" images) over a distance of 85 n. mi. is quite unusual. 

There remains the slim possibility that the aircraft itself produced the mirage layer through intensification (by compression induced by 
the Shockwave of the aircraft's passage through the air) of a barely subcritical layer, i.e., one in which the temperature gradient is just a 
little bit less than the value required to produce a mirage. This hypothesis would satisfy the directional requirement of the sighting, but 
the resulting scheme of hypotheses is too speculative to form an acceptable solution to the incident. 

This unusual sighting should therefore be assigned to the category of some almost certainly natural phenomenon, which is so rare that 
it apparently has never been reported before or since. 

304-B. Odessa, Wash., 10 December 1952, 1915 LST. Weather: clear above undercast at 3,000 ft.; aircraft at 26,000-27,000 ft. Two 
pilots in an F-94 aircraft sighted a large, round white object "larger than any known type of aircraft." A dim reddish-white light seemed 
to come from two "windows." It appeared to be able to "reverse direction almost instantly," and did a chandelle in front of the aircraft. 
After this the object appeared to rush toward the aircraft head-on and then would "suddenly stop and be pulling off." The pilot banked 
away to avoid an apparently imminent collision, and lost visual contact. Fifteen minutes later the aircraft radar picked up something 
which the crew assumed was the UFO, although there 

[[210]] 



is no evidence that it was. The object was reported to be moving generally from west to east at 75 knots. It was never sighted. 

This sighting has been described as a mirage of Venus, although the reported 75 knot speed and 270° direction of motion is in 
contradiction to this hypothesis. The general description of the object as well as the reported motion is suggestive of a weather 
balloon. However, the peculiar reversals of direction, although they could have been illusory, and particularly the loss of visual contact 
are at odds with the balloon hypothesis. 

The radiosonde profile for Spokane, 1900 LST, is shown in Fig.9 and is inconclusive. The tropopause, where the sharpest 
temperature inversions are likely, is at about 30,500 ft. above sea level, too high to have produced a mirage visible at 26,000 -27,000 
ft. 

The closeness of the timing between the radiosonde release at 1900 LST and the sighting at 1915 LST suggests that the F-94 crew 
may have seen a lighted pibal balloon. The description given, including the two dimly-lit "windows," is typical of the description of a 
pibal balloon by those not familiar with weather instrumentation. Such a balloon would rise to at least 17,000 ft. in 15 min., and the 
reported motion, 270° at 75 knots, is in excellent agreement with the upper winds at the highest level plotted for the Spokane profile: 
280° at 66 knots at 18,000 ft. 

19-X. [361-B]. Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, N.M., 4 Nov. 1957, 2245-2305 LST. Weather: scattered clouds with high overcast, visibility 
good, thunder-storms and rain showers in vicinity, light rain over airfield. Observers in the CAA (now FAA) control tower saw an 
unidentified dark object with a white light underneath, about the "shape of an automobile on end," that crossed the field at about 1 500 
ft. and circled as if to come in for a landing on the E-W runway. This unidentified object appeared to reverse direction at low altitude, 
while out of sight of the observers behind some buildings, and climbed suddenly to about 

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Figure 9a: Spokane 1 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 




-LVM.n.'.T.*:i:-': 



Figure 9b: Spokane 2 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

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200-300 ft., heading away from the field on a 120° course. Then it went into a steep climb and disappeared into the overcast. 

The Air Force view is that this UFO was a small, powerful private aircraft, flying without flight plan, that became confused and 
attempted a landing at the wrong airport. The pilot apparently realized his error when he saw a brightly-lit restricted area, which was at 
the point where the object reversed direction. The radar blip was described by the operator as a "perfectly normal aircraft return," and 
the radar track showed no characteristics that would have been beyond the capabilities of the more powerful private aircraft available 
at the time. There seems to be no reason to doubt the accuracy of this analysis. 

1482-N. About 15 mi. east of Utica, N. Y., 23 June 1955, 1215-1245 LST. Weather: overcast at 4,000 ft., visibility good below. 
Reported by the co-pilot of a Mohawk Airlines DC-3. They were cruising at 3,000 ft. at 160 knots, when he noticed an object passing 
approximately 500 ft. above at an angle of about 70° (20° from vertical). It was moving at "great speed." The body was "light gray, 
almost round, with a center line .... Beneath the line there were several (at least four) windows which emitted a bright blue-green light. It 
was not rotating but went straight." The pilot also saw this UFO; they watched it for several miles. As the distance between the DC-3 
and the UFO increased, the lights "seemed to change color slightly from greenish to bluish or vice versa. A few minutes after it went 
out of sight, two other aircraft (one, a Colonial DC-3, the other I did not catch the number) reported that they saw it and wondered if 
anyone else had seen it. The Albany control tower also reported that they had seen an object go by on Victor-2 [ainA/ay]. As we 
approached Albany, we overheard that Boston radar had also tracked an object along Victor-2, passing Boston and still eastbound." 

[[213]] 



The pilot and co-pilot computed the "speed" of the UFO at 4,500-4,800 mph. from the times of contact near Utica and at Boston. 
There are a number of inconsistencies in this report, aside from the most obvious one: the absence of a devastating sonic boom, 
which should be generated by a 150 ft. ellipsoidal object travelling at Mach 6 or better in level flight at 3,500 ft. It does seem likely that 
the Boston GCA report was coincidental and involved a different object. 

The residue is a most intriguing report, that must certainly be classed as an unknown pending further study, which it certainly deserves. 
Statements from some, of the other witnesses involved would help in analyzing the event, and should prove useful even 13 years after 
the fact. It does appear that this sighting defies explanation by conventional means. 

10-X. [371 -B.] Continental Divide, N. M., 26 January 1953, 21 15-2200 LST. Weather: high, thin overcast, low scattered clouds, very 
good visibility. An airman stationed at the 769th AC&W Squadron at Continental Divide (elevation 7,500 ft.) observed a "bright 
reddish-white object" about 10 mi. west of the radar site and approximately 2,000 ft. above the terrain. The radar subsequently 
painted a strong, steady return at 9 mi. range and about 2,500-7,500 ft. above the surface. This object passed behind a nearby hill 
and reappeared, heading north at about 10-15 mph. Radar track confirmed this. The object then moved to the west at 12-15 mph to a 
point 18 mi. west of the radar site. It then turned northfor about 10 mi., and subsequently turned back on a heading of 128° inbound to 
the station. Radar and visual contact was lost near the area where the object was first detected. Before disappearing, the object 
seemed to shrink in size and fade in color to a dull red. 

There seems to be little doubt in this case that the visual and radar contacts were in fact of the same object. The obvious 



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1 



interpretation is tliat tlie object seen and tracked on radar was a weatlier balloon, a lighted pibal used for obtaining data on upper 
winds. This explanation was considered and rejected by Air Force investigators for two reasons: 

1. The sighting occurred 1 hr. 15 mm. after the scheduled release of the Winslow, Ariz, pibal, the only one that seemed likely to 
have showed up in the sighting area, and the balloon ought to have burst by then, since they generally burst at 30,000 ft., an 
altitude the Winslow pibal should have reached 25 min. after launch; 

2. The reported direction of movement was, at least part of the time, directly opposite to the reported upper winds as derived from 
the Albuquerque radiosonde flight. These winds were reported from the "west between 10,000 and 30,000 feet." 

Actually, neither of these two reasons is sufficient to discount the balloon theory. In the first place, weather balloons are often released 
later than the scheduled time, and this possibility was apparently not checked. In the second place, pibal balloons are often known to 
leak and consequently to rise at a much slower rate than normal. Often they have so little buoyancy that they may be caught in local 
updrafts or downdrafts. These leaking balloons are usually carried away by the horizontal wind flow at such a rate that they are lost 
from sight of the observing station before they reach burst altitude. The pibal data from Winslow, Ariz, for 0300 GMT 27 January 1953, 
(2000 LST26 January) is listed as "missing" above the 500 mb level (about 19,000 ft. m.s.l.), which is a strong indication that the 
balloon may have been leaking. It is therefore entirely conceivable that the Winslow pibal balloon could have been in the vicinity of 
Gallup, N. M. (west of the radar site) at 21 15 LSTonthe night in question. 

The problem of the observed direction of movement cannot be completely resolved, because it depends largely on an analysis of 
mesoscale 

[[215]] 



winds in the lower atmosphere, that is, on a scale smaller than ordinarily analyzed n synoptic weather maps. The synoptic maps for 
2000 LST26 January 1953, for the 700 mb (about 10,000 ft.), 500 mb (about 19,000 ft.), and 300 mb (about 27,000 ft.) levels are 
shown in Figs. 10 and 11. 

Although the general windflow in the Arizona-New Mexico area for at least the 700 and 500 mb maps is from the west, there are 
indications of a secondary mesoscale circulation somewhere in the vicinity of the Arizona-New Mexico border, which is embedded in 
the general trough overlying the southwestern states. Especially significant are the winds at the 700 and 500 mb levels at Tucson and 
at Phoenix, mainly at the 500 mb level, which show evidence of a mesoscale cyclonic circulation in the area. 

In view of the general meteorological situation at the time, a quite likely explanation for the Continental Divide sighting is as follows: 
The Winslow pibal balloon, which was leaking, was carried away to the east, probably sinking slowly as it went, and was lost from view 
of the Winslow weather station. Upon reaching the general vicinity of Gallup, N. M. the leaking balloon was probably caught up in a 
local cyclonic vortex and updraft, which, being instigated by the mesoscale cyclonic flow in the region may have formed on the 
windward side of the range of low mountains forming the Divide in that area. This would have caused the balloon to be carried toward 
the north, slowly rising, as first observed. This would be followed in sequence by a turn to the west, and ultimately, upon reaching a 
somewhat higher level, a turn toward the southeast again as the balloon became caught in the more general flow from the west and 
northwest prevailing at middle levels in the atmosphere. 

This hypothesis fits the details of the observations rather well, and considering the lack of additional information or data 

[[216]] 




Figure 10: Synoptic IVlap 1 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

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Figure 1 1 : Synoptic IVlap 2 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[218]] 



pertaining to this incident, the UFO should probably be tentatively identified as a weather balloon. 

321 -B. Niagara Falls, N. Y., 25 July 1957, 0025 LST. Weather: clear, excellent visibility. Observers saw a "circular brilliant white object 
with pale green smaller lights around its perimeter." Object appeared to move slowly at nearly constant altitude, and then went into a 
"fast, steep climb," disappearing in about 5-8 min. The object was tracked on a CPS-6B radar for about 3 min. moving from SWto 
NE, in agreement with prevailing winds in the area. 

The rate of climb could not have been very great, or the object would not have remained in sight for "five to eight" minutes. The official 
AF view is that the object was a lighted balloon, and in the absence of other data or a more complete file on the case, there seems to 
be no more likely explanation. 

BACK TO SECTION 3 

Class II: UFO incidents that are primarily radar contacts, with or without secondary visual observations. 

Class ll-A: Primarily radar, with radar returns of an AP-like nature: fuzzy, vague, or erratic returns, multiple returns, 
sporadic returns, etc. 

121 1-B. McChord AFB, Seattle, Wash., 2 October 1959, 0020-0320 LST. Weather: clear, fog moved in at 0150 LST after initial 
sighting, wind from 100 at 10 knots (approx.). Radar at McChord AFB picked up a total of five or more unidentified tracks between 
0020 to 0320 LST. These targets appeared to be at elevation angles of about 10° -20° and azimuths of 170° -190°. The range would 
change from 4,000 yd. to 8,000 yd., and the flight patterns were described as "erratic;" returns would occasionally appear in pairs. The 
radar blips were described as "weak." Data on the vertical beam width and the antenna pattern characteristics of the radar are 
lacking. 

Visual observers were apparently told to go outside and look for an UFO at about 10° elevation and 190° azimuth. They found 

[[219]] 



one - "round," "the size of a quarter" (distance not specified), "white and blue flickering light," a rather good description of a 
scintillating star. There was a second magnitude star at precisely the correct azimuth (190°) at the time, although the elevation angle 
would have been only about 1 ° or so. A sharp temperature inversion, with mist trapped below it, could have easily produced the effect 
of larger size as well as increased the apparent elevation angle by about 1 °. Even trained observers consistently over-estimate the 
elevation angle of objects near the horizon., as in the "moon illusion" (the apparent increase in size of the rising moon). 

When "last seen," at about 01 50 LST, the object was reported to be about 20° elevation and 1 70° azimuth. At that time another bright 
star (0.7 magnitude fainter than the first one) was located at about 1 72° azimuth and about 1 0° elevation, values commensurate with 
the apparent visual position (again, assuming over-estimate of elevation angle). Near the horizon these were the only two stars of third 
magnitude or greater in that part of the sky at that time. 

The description of the radar targets, weak, erratic blips, together with the reported formation of a low-level fog (that hindered visual 
observations after 0150 LST), suggests the presence of a shallow temperature inversion-humidity trap that was producing AP echoes 
on the radar set. The UFO report states that temperature inversions were "prevalent" in the area. 

In summary, this UFO incident appears to have been caused by radar AP echoes and associated visual star sightings, both observed 
at small angles through a surface temperature inversion-humidity trap layer. 

103-B. Gulf of Mexico, off Louisiana coast (28° N 92° W), 6 December 1952, 0525-0535 LST (1 125 GMT). Weather: clear, dry, light 
winds, visibility excellent, full moon. The radio refractivity 

[[220]] 



profile for BuHA/ood, La., about 175 mi. NE of location of sighting, for 0900 LST is shown in Fig. 12; a very strong super-refractive layer 
is shown on this profile over a height interval extending from the surface to 456 m. (1 ,500 ft.). A sharp temperature inversion existed at 



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the top of this layer. As an aircraft was returning to Galveston, Tex. at 20,000 ft. burn-off flares from oil refineries became visible. The 
radar was activated on 1 00 mi. range to check for the Louisiana coastline. The range to the nearest point on the coastline was about 
89 mi. and assuming standard propagation conditions, the range to the radar horizon should have been on the order of 140 mi. 
Surprisingly, the coastline could not be seen on the radarscope. Instead a number of unusual echoes were observed. Initially there 
were four moving an a course of 120° true azimuth. These blips moved at apparent speeds of over 5,000 mph., coming within 15-20 
mi. of the aircraft's position. Eventually they disappeared from the scope. The radar set was calibrated, but more blips appeared still 
moving SE across the scope. 

Visual observations consisted of one or two blue-white flashes, one of which, as viewed from the waist blister, appeared to pass 
under a wing of the aircraft. All of these may have been above the horizon, since the wingtip would appear well above the horizon as 
viewed from this position. The observers stated that the flashes "did not alter course whatsoever." These visual sightings were 
probably Geminid meteors; the wing operations officer stated: "Visual sightings are indecisive and of little confirmatory value." 

One of the radar witnesses stated: "One object came directly towards the center of the scope and then disappeared." After 10 min. of 
radar observation, a group of the blips merged into a half-inch curved arc about 30 mi. from the aircraft at 320° relative azimuth and 
proceeded across and off the scope at a computed speed of over 9,000 mph. After this, no more unidentified returns were noted on 
the radar. 

The radar returns obtained in this incident were probably caused by the deep super-refractive layer near the surface shown in Fig. 12. 

[[221]] I 




Figure 12: Burwood LA 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[222]] 



That this layer was present at the time and in the area is indicated by the failure of the aircraft radar to detect the Louisiana coastline 
even though burn-off flares on the shore were visible to the unaided eye. The layer was probably slightly stronger at the time of the 
incident, thus constituting a thick radio duct. A transmitter located above a radio duct and emitting a high enough frequency to be 
affected, as the radar undoubtedly was, does not excite propagation within the duct. This implies that the coastline below the duct 
would not be visible to the radar located above the duct. 

The strange moving targets seen on the radar were probably caused by imperfections in the atmospheric layer forming the radio duct, 
allowing the radio energy to enter the ducting layer at various points. This would create sporadic ground returns. The returns may have 
been caused by a series of gravity waves running along the ducting layer in a SE direction; this is a phenomenon which is at present 
only poorly understood. In any event, spurious radar images have often been noted under propagation conditions of this sort, often 
moving at apparent speeds of from tens to thousands of miles per hour. 

In summary, it seems most likely that the cause of this sighting can be assigned to radar AP, for which there is meteorological 
evidence, and meteors. 

7-C. White Sands Missile Range, N. M., 2 March 1967, 1025-1 132 LST. Weather: apparently clear (few meteorological data are 
available). A single witness at the summit of highway 70 over the Sacramento Mountains (Apache Summit, 9,000 ft. elevation) 
reported seeing "silvery specks" passing overhead from north to south. The witness called Holloman AFB, and range surveillance 
radar was requested to look for the objects. Two aircraft were scrambled, but neither reported a sighting, although they searched the 
area where the UFOs were reported. 

[[223]] 



Two radars were in operation. Both tracked a number of targets, most of which were stationary and so intermittent in nature as to 
prevent lock-on (see Case 16). Significantly, none of the radar targets was behaving in the manner described by this witness (i.e., 
moving steadily south at high altitude). Therefore, this incident is considered to be primarily a radar contact. 

The probable nature of each of the three types of radar contact made is examined below. 

1 . The stationary, intermittent targets. Most of these can be identified with terrain features, peaks or ridges, that would normally be 
just below the radar's line of sight. If the atmospheric conditions were such as to render these points just barely detectable by the 



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radars, they would probably appear as intermittent, stationary targets of the type described. 



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1 



2. The object at 25,000 ft. that "drifted east three or four miles in about 1 0 minutes" was apparently moving with the prevailing 
upper winds from the west; it may have been a weather balloon, or some similar device. 

3. The circular track executed by the Holloman radar was interpreted by the radar engineers on the base as being a noise track. 
This seems quite likely, despite some apparent discrepancies noted in the report. If this track represented a real target, it is 
strange that the Elephant Mountain radar never picked it up, in spite of the fact that the apparent track passed within about 6.5 
mi. of the second radar's location. 

190-N. Detroit, Mich., March 1953, about 1000 to 1 100 LST (exact date and time unknown). Weather: "perfectly clear." A USAF pilot 
and a radar operator, flying in an F-94B fighter on a practice training mission, were directed by GCI radar at Selfridge AFB to 
intercept some unknown targets which appeared to be over 

[[224]] 



downtown Detroit. The pilot and radar operator looked in that direction and saw "tiny specks in the sky, which appeared to look like a 
ragged formation of aircraft." 

The aircraft at this time was about 30 mi. NW of downtown Detroit, and the targets "appeared to be over the city's central section." 
The pilot turned the aircraft to an intercept course. During this time, perhaps "three or four minutes," the objects were visible to the pilot 
as "a ragged formation traveling slowly in a westward direction;" the objects appeared to be "a little lower than our aircraft." The pilot 
started his intercept run under full military power, without afterburner, at approximately 500 mph. 

The pilot recalls thinking several times that details of the unknowns, like wings, tails, etc. should have "popped out" as they 
approached, so that identification could be made, but they did not. The ground radar had both the F-94B and the unknowns "painted 
as good, strong targets." The unknowns could still not be identified, but "seemed to get a little larger all the time." 

The F-94B's radar operator began to get returns and "thought he was picking up the targets." The pilot looked at his instruments to 
see if he could "inch out a little more speed without going into after-burner," and when he looked up again "every last one" of the 
objects was gone. The pilot asked GCI where the UFOs were, and was told they were still there, "loud and clear." They continued to fly 
headings given by GCI right into the center of the targets, flying and turning in "every direction," but there was nothing in sight. The pilot 
states: "Gradually the targets disappeared from ground radar after we had been amongst them for three or four minutes." The F-94B 
then returned to base. 

Since the exact date of this sighting is unknown, no applicable meteorological data are available. Any explanation of this incident 

[[225]] 



must therefore remain speculative in nature. If the UFOs are considered to have been material objects, then they would have had to 
have shifted position some tens of miles in the "two to four" seconds while the pilot was looking down at his instruments. This does not 
explain why they continued to appear on the ground radar. The only admissable hypothesis would seem to be that they became 
invisible as the fighter approached, but this does not account for the fact that they could not be picked up on airborne radar while the 
aircraft was searching the area. 

There is one hypothesis that seems to fit all of the observed facts: that the "ragged formation" was actually an inferior mirage (see 
Section VI, Chapter 4). The angular conditions are satisfied: the objects appeared "slightly below the level of the aircraft," and 
reflections of the sky above the horizon would seem dark when seen projected against the hazy sky directly over the city. A layer of 
heated air, trapped temporarily below a cooler layer by a stable vertical wind shear, could produce a wavy interface that would reflect 
the sky in a few spots. This phenomenon is quite similar to the familiar road mirage. Like, a road mirage it suddenly disappears when 
one gets too close and the viewing angle becomes either too large or too small. 

If the warm air below, the source of which would presumably have been the downtown area of Detroit, were also considerably moister 
than the cooler air above as is quite probable, then the radio refractive index would decrease quite suddenly across the inter-face. 
This would tend to produce anomalous propagation effects, including false echoes, on radar, and would explain why ground radar 
could continue tracking the unknowns when the pilot and airborne radar operator could no longer see them. The airborne radar, being 
immersed in the layer would probably not receive AP echoes of any duration other than, perhaps, occasional random blips. 

[[226]] 



After the aircraft had thoroughly mixed the opposing air currents by flying repeatedly through the interface as it searched for the 
targets, the ground radar returns would gradually fade away. This corresponds to what was actually observed. 

In summary, without the data to make a more definitive evaluation of this case, the most likely cause seems to be a combined radio- 
optical mirage as described above. If so, this is another example of a natural phenomenon so rare that it is seldom observed: for a 
0.25° critical mirage angle, the temperature contrast required is on the order of 10° or 15°C in the space of about 1 cm. 

Washington, D.C. (see Appendix L) 19-20 and 26-27 July 1952. 



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Weather: mostly clear, a few scattered clouds, visibility 10 to 15 mi., temperature 76° to 87°F, dewpoint61° to 72°F, surface winds 
from SE, light, near surface, from 300° to 320° aloft, light. Radio refractive indexprofiles are shown in Figs. 13, 14, and 15, in Md., at 
an elevation of 88 m. (289 ft.) above sea level. There are a tremendous number of reports of UFOs observed on these two nights. In 
most instances visual observers, especially in scrambled aircraft, were unable to see targets indicated on ground radar, or to make 
airborne radar contact. Ground radar observers were often able to find a return in the general area of reported visual contacts, 
especially in the case of ground visual reports where only an azimuth was given. A few excerpts from typical reports during these 
incidents are given below: 

Control tower operator, Andrews AFB, 0100 to 0500 EST, 20 July 1952: 

An airman became excited during the conversation and suddenly yelled "there goes one." I saw a falling star go from 
overhead a short distance south and burn out. About two minutes later (the airman) said, "There's another one; 

[[227]] 




Figure 13: Silver Hill MD 1 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[228]] 




4-j'i:T^ 



Figure 14: Silver Hill MD2 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[229]] 



Figure 15: Silver Hill MD3 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[230]] 



did you see the orange glow to the south?" I said I thought I saw it, but he pointed south and I had been looking south-west. 
I went up on the roof--and watched the sky in all directions. In the meantime Washington Center was reporting targets on 
their radar screen over Andrews. Andrews Approach Control observed nothing. 

[The airman] was in the tower talking on the phone and interphones. He was watching a star and telling various people that 
it was moving up and descending rapidly and going from left to right, and [another airman] and I, listening to him from the 



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roof, believed we saw it move too. Such is the power of suggestion. 



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This starwas to the east slightly to the left of and above the rotating beacon. [The airman] reported the star as two miles 
east of Andrews and at an altitude of 2,000 ft. 

A short time later, approximately 0200 hours, I saw a falling star go from overhead to the north. A few minutes later another 
went in the same direction. They faded and went out within two seconds. The sky was full of stars, the Milky Way was 
bright, and I was surprised that we did not see more falling stars. 

All night Washington Center was reporting objects near or over Andrews, but Andrews Approach Control could see 
nothing, however they could see the various aircraft reported so their [radar] screen was apparently in good operation. 

At 0500 hours Washington Center called me and reported an unknown object five miles southeast of Andrews field. I 
looked and saw nothing. That was the last report I heard. 

A USAF Captain at Andrews AFB radar center: 

[[231]] 



At about 0200 EST Washington Center advised thattheir radar had a target five miles east of Andrews Field. Andrews 
tower reported seeing a light, which changed color, and said it was moving towards Andrews. I went outside as no target 
appeared on Andrews radar and saw a light as reported by the tower. It was between 10° and 15° above the horizon and 
seemed to change color, from red to orange to green to red again. It seemed to float, but at times to dip suddenly and 
appear to lose altitude. It did not have the appearance of any star I have ever observed before. At the time of observation 
there was a star due east of my position. Its brilliance was approximately the same as the object and it appeared at about 
the same angle, 10° to 157deg; above the horizon. The star did not change color or have any apparent movement. I 
estimated the object to be between three and four miles east of Andrews Field at approximately 2,000 ft. During the next 
hour very few reports were received from Washington Center. [According to Washington Center's account, however, the 
0200 EST object was seen on radar to pass over Andrews and fade out to the southwest of Andrews - G. D. T.] At 
approximately 0300 EST I again went outside to look at the object. At this time both the star and the object had increased 
elevation by about 10°. [The azimuth would have also increased about 10°, so that the observed change was apparently 
equal to the sidereal rate, 1 5° of right ascension per hour -- G. D. T.] The object had ceased to have any apparent 
movement, but still appeared to be changing color. On the basis of the second observation, I believe the unidentified 
object was a star. 

[[232]] 



The account of the airman referred to by the Andrews AFB control tower operator: 

Airman [X] called the tower and reported he had seen objects in the air around Andrews; while we were discussing them 
he advised me to look to the south immediately. When I looked there was an object which appeared to be like an orange 
ball of fire, trailing a tail; it appeared to be about two miles south and one half mile east of the Andrews Range [station]. It 
was very bright and definite, and unlike anything I had overseen before. The position of something like that is hard to 
determine accurately. It made kind of a circular movement, and then took off at an unbelievable speed; it disappeared in a 
split second. This took place around 0005 EST. Seconds later, I saw another one, same description as the one before; it 
made an arc-like pattern and then disappeared. I only saw each objectfor about a second. The second one was over the 
Andrews Range; the direction appeared to be southerly. 

The account of a staff sergeant at Andrews AFB follows. He was apparently describing the same object that the radar center Captain 
had observed. 

Later on we spotted what seemed to be a star north-east of the field, which was in the general direction of Baltimore. It 
was about tree top level from where I was watching. It was very bright but not the same color (as some apparent meteors). 
This was a bluish silver. It was very erratic in motion; it moved up from side to side. Its motion was very fast. Three times I 
saw a red object leave the silver object at a high rate of speed and move east out of sight. At this time I had to service a C- 
47 and lost sight of it for the night. The time was about 0330. 

[[233]] 



The visual sightings in these incidents seem to be either meteors, apparently quite numerous at the time, or stars, but a few 
descriptions are not adequate to make an identification and hence may represent unknowns. 

The radar tracks reported, at various times, from Washington National Airport, Andrews AFB, and Boiling AFB are generally not 
correlated with each other, with airborne radar/visual observations, or with ground visual reports, except in a very general way, e.g., a 
star sighted on the azimuth supplied by the radar track. 

An investigation of the radar tracks reported by Borden and Vickers (1953) is very informative. The authors observed, on the night of 
13-14 August 1952, radar tracks very similar to those described in the 19-20 and 25-27 July incidents. The targets appeared to move 
with the upper winds at various levels at twice the observed wind speed, suggesting that they were ground returns seen by partial 



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reflections from moving atmospheric layers of relatively small horizontal extent (i.e., patches of local intensification of a general super- 
refractive stratum). Borden and Vickers state: 

The almost simultaneous appearance of the first moving targets with the [stationary] ground returns, [the latter] signifying 
the beginning of the temperature inversion, suggested that the target display was perhaps caused by some effects 
existing in or near the inversion layers. 

The authors also relate similar target patterns observed during testing of a new radar at Indianapolis in November, 1952. They state: 

Targets were larger, stronger, and more numerous than those observed by the writers during the Washington 
observations. At times the clutter made it difficult to keep track of actual aircraft targets on the scope. 

[[234]] 



In all major respects this report (Borden, 1953) is an excellent analysis of the probable radar situation during the July 1952, 
Washington sightings. 

The atmospheric conditions in existence at the times of these UFO incidents, as shown in Figs. 13, 14, and 15, are rather peculiar. 
Refractivity profile for 19 July 2200 LST shows a surface inversion of 1.7° C (3.1° F) but the resulting refractivity gradient is only -81 km" 
^ about twice the "standard" value. There is a rather unusual subrefractive layer at 3833 to 4389 m. produced by overlying moist air. 
Relative humidity drops from 84% at surface to 20% at base of this layer, then climbs to 70% at top of the layer. A number of 
significant levels are missing from this profile, which is common in 1952 Silver Hill profiles, but even so it is indicative of unusual 
atmospheric conditions. The radar sightings were made between 2340 LST and 0540 LST (July 20), and the atmospheric 
stratification was no doubt more strongly developed by that time. In addition. Silver Hill is at an elevation of 88 m. (289 ft.) above MSL, 
whereas Washington National Airport is at an elevation of only 13 m. (43 ft.). The intervening 75 m. is precisely that part of the 
atmosphere in which some of the most spectacular super-refractive and ducting layers would be expected to develop. Indeed, records 
for 1945-1950, during which radiosonde upper-air soundings were launched from Washington National Airport, reveal a much 
stronger tendency for the formation of anomalous propagation conditions than the Silver Hill data. 

The profiles for 25 July and 26 July, 2200 LST are more complete than the 19 July profile, although some significant levels were noted 
as missing from the 26 July profile. OthenA/ise, the foregoing comments apply to these profiles as well. The 25 July profile shows a 
super- refractive surface layer and a strong elevated duct; there is a 4.6°C (8.3° F) temperature inversion through the elevated duct. It 
is perhaps significant that unidentified radar targets began appearing at 2030 LST 

[[235]] 



on 25 July. The 26 July profile has a 1.2° C (2.2°F) surface inversion without a humidity lapse sufficient to cause super-refraction; 
however, a 0.9° C inversion between 1 1 15 and 1275 m. is associated with a sharp humidity drop and a resulting elevated duct with a 
gradient of -167 km"^ This elevated layer is quite strong enough to produce AP effects on radar. Unidentified radar targets began 
appearing at 2050 LST on 26 July and continued until after midnight. 

In summary, the following statements appear to be correct: 

1 . The atmospheric conditions during the period 19-20 and 25-27 July, 1952, in the Washington, D. C, area, were conducive to 
anomalous propagation of radar signals; 

2. The unidentified radar returns obtained during these incidents were most likely the result of anomalous propagation (AP); 

3. The visual objects were, with one or two possible exceptions, identifiable as most probably meteors and scintillating stars. 

Wichita. Kans. area, 2 August 1965, "early morning hours" up to "shortly after 0600" LST. 

Weather: clear, temperature 61 ° F to 70°F, wind at surface: light from WSW. This is classed as primarily radar since the bulk of the 
reports were from radar and the first visual object was never described. The refractivity profiles for Topeka, Kans. and Oklahoma City, 
Okia are shown in Figs. 16 and 17. 

During the early morning hours of 2 August 1 965, the Wichita Weather Bureau Airport Station was contacted by the dispatcher of the 
Sedgwick County Sheriffs Department with regard to an object sighted in the sky near Wellington, Kans. (25 mi. south of Wichita). The 
radar operator, Mr. John S. Shockley observed what appeared to be an aircraft target near Udall, Kans., 15 mi. northeast of 
Wellington. This target moved northward at 40 to 50 mph. 

During the next hour and a half several of these targets were observed on the radar scope over central Kansas moving slowly 
northward occasionally remaining stationary, or moving about erratically. 

[[236]] 

i 



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Figure 16: Topeka 
Click on tliumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[237]] 




i -I K T\ 



Figure 17: Oklahoma City 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[238]] 



Mr. Shockley checked with the Wichita Radar Approach Control, however they were notable to observe a target simultaneously, with 
the exception of one aircraft south of McConnell Air Force Base near Wichita. 

Later, a target was observed about seven miles NNW of Wellington, Kans., moving slowly southward. The Wellington Police 
Department was contacted and two officers went three miles west of the city, to see if they could observe anything. The target passed 
about one mile west of the city as observed on radar. The officers did not observe it until it was southwest of the city. They described it 
as a greenish-blue light that moved slowly away from them. 

The dispatcher called again, with a report that two officers at Caldwell, Kans. (35 mi. south of Wichita) had sighted an object near the 
ground east of the city. A target was observed about two miles northwest of the city that moved northward and disappeared. 

At daybreak, the dispatcher reported that the Wellington officers had an object in sight east of the city. Radar indicated a target in that 
area moving southward about 45 mph. Four or five people stopped their cars and watched the object with the officers. It was 
described as an egg-shaped object about the size of three automobiles, made of a highly polished silver metal. 

Shortly after 0600C, a target was observed five miles north of Wellington moving southward. The target moved directly over the city to 
a point ten miles south of the city where it disappeared. The officers in Wellington were contacted but were able to observe absolutely 
nothing in the sky overhead during that time. 

The radar was operated in long pulse, at 50 mi. range, with STC off. The targets were coherent and appeared from sixto nine 
thousand feet on the RHI scope during the early morning and about four or five thousand feet later in the morning. 

The descriptions of most of the visual objects in this sighting are too cursory to allow for any reasonable conjecture as to the real 

[[239]] 



nature of the objects. One of the objects, described as "a greenish-blue light that moved slowly away," may have been a star. 

In most instances the radar targets did not seem directly related to the visual UFOs. This is characteristic of radar anomalous 
propagation returns. 

The refractivity profiles both show highly refractive surface layers, with a 6.7° C (12.1 ° F) surface inversion at Topeka and a 9.7°C 
(1 7.5°F) surface inversion at Oklahoma City. In addition, the Topeka profile shows a strong elevated layer at 2720 m. with a 0.6°C 
inversion. The temperature inversion at Oklahoma City produced a surface layer having an optical refractivity gradient (at 5570A of - 
101 km"''; this layer would extend the theoretical optical horizon for the eye of an observer 2 m. above the surface of a smooth earth 
from the normal value of 5.6 km. (9 mi.) to 8.5 km. (about 14 mi.). Such inversions can produce many strange effects, including the 
visibility of objects normally well below the horizon. 



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In summary, since the atmospheric conditions were conducive to anomalous radar propagation, and the radar targets displayed AP- 
like characteristics, this incident may probably be classified as consisting of radar false targets, with associated optical sightings that 
may have been enhanced by a strong temperature inversion at the surface. 



BACK TO SECTION 3 

Class ll-B. Primarily radar, returns mostly single, sharp, aircraft-like blips, behaving in a continuous manner (i.e., no 
sudden jumps, etc.). 

19-B. Walesvi He-Westmorland N. Y., 1-2 July 1954, 1 105-1 127 LST. Weather: apparently clear. On 1 July 1954 reports came into the 
AF Depot at Rome, N. Y. of an UFO having the appearance of a balloon. The officer in charge said he believed it to be a partially 
deflated 

[[240]] 



balloon, and if it were still there the next day, he would have it investigated. 

On 1 105 LST 2 July 1954, F-94C aircraft 51-13559 took off on a routine training mission. GCI requested the aircraft to change 
mission to intercept an unknown aircraft at 10,000 ft. The pilot identified a C-47 aircraft by tail number, and was then requested to 
check a second unidentified aircraft that was at low altitude and apparently letting down to land at Griffith AFB. The AF account states: 

As the pilot started a descent, he noted that the cockpit temperature increased abruptly. The increase in temperature 
caused the pilot to scan the instruments. The fire warning light was on and the pilot informed the radar observer of this fact. 
The fire warning light remained on after the throttle was placed in "idle" so the engine was shut down and both crew 
members ejected successfully. 

The aircraft crashed at the "Walesville Intersection," and was destroyed. The aircraft struck a house and an automobile, fatally injuring 
four persons. 

The above account is from the official USAF accident report ("Summary of Circumstances"). There is no Blue Book file because no 
UFO was involved. 

Conclusion: 

1 . The first object was probably a balloon; 

2. There was no UFO in the aircraft accident case. 

93-B. Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, August 1 952, 1 050-1 1 1 3 LST. Weather: scattered clouds at 25,000 ft. This case, occurring 
almost over Project Blue Book's home base, is a very good example of confusion or contradictory evidence tending to obscure the 
true nature of a UFO incident. 

At 1 051 LST an unidentified radar track appeared 20 mi . NNW of Wright Patterson AFB on the 664th AC&W Squadron's GCI radar 
at 

[[241]] 



Bellefontaine. The radar operator stated that the course was 240° at 400 knots. Elsewhere the report states 450 knots; how he 
determined this is not made clear. Two F-86 aircraft from the 97th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, were 
vectored in and made visual contact at 1 055 LST. Fighters stayed with the object until 1113 LST. The F-86s climbed to 48,000 ft., fell 
off, and made a second climb. One aircraft had airborne radar activated and received a "weak" return. The object was described as 
"silver in color, round in shape," and its altitude was estimated as 60,000-70,000 ft. The object appeared on the radar gunsight film as 
a "fuzzy, small image ... with discernible motion ... that could be any darn thing." 

In this incident it is apparent that 

1 . the UFO was a real object, and 

2. the visual and radar sightings (both ground and airborne) were of the same object. 

All of the evidence points to a weather balloon except for the 400-450 knot speed, and the 240° flight path, which is against the 
prevailing upper winds. Known aircraft were ruled out because of the altitude. A U-2 would "fit," but the first one was not flown until 
1955, and the visual appearance was all wrong. The radar returns eliminated astronomical objects, mirage was ruled out because of 
the high angles, and the sighting occurred "above the weather." The conclusion was: unknown. 

However, buried deep in the report was the radar operator's note that "At the time it was dropped (1113 LST) object was five miles 
northwest of Springfield, Ohio." This allows the UFO's course to be plotted on a map; Figs 18 and 19, shows such a map plot. It is 
readily apparent from this that the UFO's true heading was about 1 1 1 ° at an average speed of only 44 knots. Apparently no one 
thought to make this simple check. Since the highest reported winds from the radiosonde launched at Dayton at 1000 LST were 
260°/31 knots 



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[[242]] 



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Figure 18: Bellefontaine 1 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[243]] 




Figure 19: Bellefontaine 2 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[244]] 



at 50,000 ft. and 270733 knots at 55,000 ft. the plotted track of the UFO is consistent with the observed upper winds. The blip was first 
"painted" at a 240° azimuth, which may explain where that quantity originated in the UFO movement report. 

Conclusion: almost certainly a weather balloon. Note that the winds reported for the Wright-Patterson AFB 1 000 LST show winds 
blowing first from the east, then from the SSE, ultimately from the west at higher altitudes. These winds were blowing in such a manner 
that it is conceivable that Wright-Patterson's own radiosonde balloon may have been the UFO in this incident. 

76-B. Near Charleston, W. Va., 4 May 1966, 0340 LST. Weather: Severe thunderstorms in area. Pilot of a Braniff Airlines Boeing 707 
flying at 33,000 ft. observed on his left side what appeared to be a fast-flying aircraft with landing lights. BranifTs airborne radar 
recorded this unknown. Pilot requested the radar operator at Charleston sector of Indianapolis ARTC to look for traffic at his 8:30 or 
9:00 position, and the radar picked up a track in this position. Return made a sweeping turn and disappeared off scope to the 
southwest. 

An American Airlines pilot flying 20 mi. behind the Braniff plane saw the object. It appeared to him to be a normal aircraft with landing 
lights. This pilot stated he had often seen such aircraft with lights during AF refueling missions. 

Estimated speed of the unknown was 750-800 mph. No unusual maneuvers were performed or any that were beyond known military 
aircraft capabilities at the time. AF explanation is that the unknown was an aircraft with landing lights on. This is consistent with the 
reported facts. 

Case 2. Lakenheath, England, 13-14 August 1956, 2230-0330 LST. Weather: generallyclear until 0300 LST on the 14th. (For details 
see Section IV.) 

The probability that anomalous propagation of radar signals may have been involved in this case seems to be small. One or two 
details 

[[245]] 



are suggestive of AP, particularly the reported disappearance of the first track as the UFO appeared to overfly the Bentwaters GCA 
radar. Against this must be weighed the Lakenheath controller's statement that there was "little or no traffic or targets on scope," which 
is not at all suggestive of AP conditions, and the behavior of the target near Lakenheath ~ apparently continuous and easily tracked. 
The "tailing" of the RAF fighter, taken alone, seems to indicate a possible ghost image, but this does not jibe with the report that the 
UFO stopped following the fighter, as the latter was returning to its base, and went off in a different direction. The radar operators were 
apparently careful to calculate the speed of the UFO from distances and elapsed times, and the speeds were reported as consistent 
from run to run, between stationary episodes. This behavior would be somewhat consistent with reflections from moving atmospheric 
layers ~ but not in so many different directions. 

Visual mirage at Bentwaters seems to be out of the question because of the combined ground and airborne observations; the C47 



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pilot apparently saw the UFO below him. The visual objects do not seem to have been meteors; statements by the observers that 
meteors were numerous imply that they were able to differentiate the UFO from the meteors. 



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In summary, this is the most puzzling and unusual case in the radar-visual files. The apparently rational, intelligent behavior of the UFO 
suggests a mechanical device of unknown origin as the most probable explanation of this sighting. However, in view of the inevitable 
fallibility of witnesses, more conventional explanations of this report cannot be entirely ruled out. 

[[246]] 



Kincheloe AFB, Sault Saint Marie, IVIich., 11-12 September 1967, 2200-2330 LST. Weather: clear, ceiling unlimited, visibility 
unlimited (over 20 mi.), no thunderstorms in area, wind at surface 14074 knots, aloft 240°-27O71 5-35 knots. The radio refractivity 
profile from Sault Saint Marie for the most applicable time is shown in Fig. 21 . 

This is a good example of moving radar targets that cannot be seen visually, where there is a "forbidden cone" over the radar site. 
Some of the returns were even seen to approach within 5-15 mi. of the radar and disappear, apparently subsequently reappearing on 
the other side of the radar scope at about the same range that they disappeared. This sort of behavior is symptomatic of AP-echoes. 

The meteorological data tend to confirm this interpretation. The refractivity profile shown in Fig. 21 displays three peculiarities: a 
strong subrefractive layer at the surface, a strong elevated duct at 325-520 m. (about 1 1 00-1 700 ft.) and a super-refractive layer at 
1070-1360 m. (about 3,500-4,500 ft.). A ray-tracing is shown for this profile in Fig. 20. The ray shows noticeable changes in curvature 
as it passes through the different layers, an indication that strong partial reflections would be expected. With this profile, moving AP- 
echoes, produced in the manner described by Borden and Vickers (1 953), could be expected to appear at apparent heights of 
between 2,000-3,000 ft. and 7,000-9,000 ft. No height information was supplied with this report, so the calculation above cannot be 
verified. 

In summary, it appears that this is a case of observations of moving AP-echoes produced by unusually well stratified atmospheric 
conditions. 

156-B. Gulf of Mexico, Coast Guard Cutter "Sebago," 25"47'N 89° 24'W, 5 November 1957, 0510-1537 LST. Weather : not given, but 
apparently some clouds in area. The most applicable radio refractivity 

[[247]] 




Figure 20: Sault Saint IVIarie IVI-Profile 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[248]] 




Figure 21 : Sault Saint Marie 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[249]] 



data available are for Key West, Fla. 0600 and 1800 LST, 5 November 1957. They are shown in Figs. 22 and 23. One visual and 
three radar objects were included in this case. The ship's heading was 23° true. The first contact was a radar blip picked up at 0510 
LST at 290° true azimuth, 14 mi. It moved south, approached the ship within 2 mi., and returned north along ship's port side. Contact 
was lost at 0514 LST. Average speed of this UFO was calculated as 250 mph. At 0516 LST a new blip was picked up at 188°, 22 mi.; 
this target departed at a computed 650 mph., disappearing at 0516 LST at 190°, 55 mi. The third radar target was acquired at 0520 



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LSTat 350°, 7 mi.; it appeared to be stationary. While the third radar target was being watched on the scope, a visual object was 
observed for about 3 sec. at 0521 LST travelling from south to north at about 31° elevation between 270° and 310° azimuth. The third 
radar target remained stationary for about 1 min. and then slowly moved to the northeast, finally accelerating rapidly and moving off 
scope at 15°, 175 mi. 

The visual object was described as "like a brilliant planet;" it was undoubtedly a meteor, and in any event obviously was unrelated to 
radar target number three, the only radar target visible at the same time. 

The radar targets were, with the possible exception of the first one, erratic and unpredictable in their movements. The second and 
third radar blips appeared suddenly, well within the normal pick-up range of the ship's radar. These two blips were probably caused by 
anomalous propagation. The two Key West profiles, although taken at some distance from the ship's position, are indicative of rather 
unusual atmospheric conditions in the area. Indeed, the 1800 LST profile is probably one of the most unusual radio refractive index 
profiles that has ever been observed. The atmospheric structure was apparently one of alternating very wet and very dry layers. 
Patterns of this sort are often very stable in these subtropical latitudes, 

[[250]] 




o» w n» V* TW vo 



Figure 22: Key West 1 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[251]] 




Figure 23: Key West 2 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[252]] 



and tend to extend in rather homogeneous form over large horizontal distances. The ray-tracing of this profile. Fig. 23a, shows even 
greater changes in ray curvature. Strong partial reflections should be expected under these conditions. 

The first radar target behaved generally like an aircraft, and the AF investigators were of the opinion that it was an aircraft, probably 
from Eglin AFB to the north. 

In summary, the weight of evidence points toward anomalous propagation as the cause of the radar echoes, the first possibly being an 
aircraft. The visual object was apparently a meteor. 

Coincidentally, the ship, SS Hampton Roads, at 27° 50'N 91 ° 12'W sighted a round, glowing object high in the sky that faded as 
darkness approached at 1 740-1 750 LST. This object appeared to move with the upper winds. AF investigators concluded that it was 
in all probability a weather balloon. 

101 -B. Canal Zone, 25 November 1952, 1806-2349 LST. Weather: generally clear, a few scattered clouds, ceiling and visibility 
unlimited, visibility at 2,000 ft. was 50 mi. Radio refractivity profiles for Balboa, 1000 and 2200 LST 25 November 1952, are shown in 
Figs. 24 and 25. Two unidentified objects were tracked by gun-laying radar during the period 1806-2349 LST. These objects, never 
present simultaneously, could have represented two tracks of the same object. The radar returns were described as "firm and 
consistent," and the objects were said to maneuver in a "conventional manner" at an average speed of 275 knots. Apparently the track 
speeds were as high as 720-960 mph. at times. Two B-26s, a B-17, and a PBM were scrambled but no radar or visual contact could 
be made with the unknowns. The UFOs were not spotted from the ground, with the exception of a single report that an officer saw, low 



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in the sky, an "elongated yellow glow" giving a soft light like a candle. It moved quickly, disappearing in the 

[[253]] 



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1 




Figure 23a: Key West M-Profile 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[254]] 




Figure 24: Canal Zone 1 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[255]] 




Figure 25: Canal Zone 2 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[256]] 

west in about 3 sec. There were scattered clouds. It seems possible that this was the sighting of a meteor seen through thin clouds 
producing the soft, yellow-glow effect. In any event, the description does not correspond with the simultaneous radar track of the first 
UFO. 

With visibility of 50 mi. it seems strange that the scrambled aircraft could notsight either of the UFOs. The Air Force report comments: 

It is believed that due to radar units being slightly off calibration and due to delay in communication, interceptors did chase 
their own tail or were sent to intercept themselves. 

It is also believed that the majority of the radar plots were legitimate unidentified objects. 

The preparing officer knows of no object which flies at 275 knots, that could remain in the Canal Zone area for nearly six 
hours, maneuver from 1000 through 28,000 feet altitude, make no sound, and evade interception. 

In fact, it is difficult to imagine any material object that could accomplish all these feats. The strange radar tracks were probably the 
product of anomalous propagation conditions, an hypothesis that would account for the facts above. The atmospheric conditions were 
certainly favorable for AP, as can be seen from the A-profiles in Figs 24 and 25. However, there are two considerations that argue 
against this hypothesis. 

1 . The targets tracked behaved in a more rational, continuous manner, and covered a greater altitude range, than AP echoes of 
the type usually observed; 



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2. If they were AP echoes, should these targets have appeared at not only 1806-2349 LST but around 1000 LST when the profile 
was obviously more favorable for AP than the 2200 LST profile? 

Despite these two contradictions to the AP hypothesis, the lack of any visual corroboration of the two UFOs makes any other 

[[257]] 



hypothesis even more difficult to accept. This case therefore seems to fall, albeit inconclusively, into the classification of probable AP 
radar returns. 

Case 21. Colorado Springs, Colo., 13 May 1967, 1540 LST (1640 MDT). Weather: overcast, cold, scattered showers and snow 
showers (graupel) in area, winds northerly about 30 mph., gusts to 40 mph., visibility air - more than 15 mi. (Colorado Springs airport 
is not horizon-limited; visibilities of 100 mi. are routinely reported on clear days). This is a radar-only case, and is of particular interest 
because the UFO could not be seen, when there was every indication that it should have been seen.(See Section IV). 

From the time the UFO was first picked up on radar to the time the Braniff flight touched down on runway 35, the UFO track behaved 
like a ghost echo, perhaps a ground return being reflected from the aircraft. This is indicated by the fact that the UFO blip appeared at 
about twice the range of the Braniff blip, and on the same azimuth, although the elevation angle appears to have been different. When 
Braniff touched down, however, the situation changed radically. The UFO blip pulled to the right (east) and passed over the airport at 
an indicated height of about 200 ft. As pointed out by the FAA, this is precisely the correct procedure for an overtaking aircraft, or one 
which is practicing an ILS approach but does not actually intend to touch down. Although the UFO track passed within 1 .5 mi. of the 
control tower, and the personnel there were alerted to the situation, the UFO was not visible, even through binoculars. A continental 
Airlines flight, which was monitored 3-4 mi. behind the UFO at first contact, and was flying in the same direction, never saw it either. 

Both the PAR and ASR radar transmitting antennas are located to the east of runway 35, and they are about 1 ,000 ft. apart on a SW- 
NE line. A ghost echo seems to be ruled out by at least the following considerations: 

[[258]] 



1 . A ghost echo, either direct or indirect, normally will not be indicated at a height of 200 ft. while the ghost-producer is on the 
ground, as was the case here; 

2. A direct ghost is always at the same azimuth as the moving target, and an indirect ghost is on the same azimuth as the fixed 
reflector involved. (See Section VI Chapter 5). If an indirect ghost were involved here, the ghost echo would thus have always 
appeared well to the east of Braniff, not at the same azimuth. 

The radar flight characteristics of the UFO in this case were all compatible with the hypothesis that the unknown was a century-series 
jet (F100, F104, etc.), yet nothing was overseen or heard. 

This must remain as one of the most puzzling radar cases on record, and no conclusion is possible at this time. It seems 
inconceivable that an anomalous propagation echo would behave in the manner described, particularly with respect to the reported 
altitude changes, even if AP had been likely at the time. In view of the meteorological situation, it would seem that AP was rather 
unlikely. Besides, what is the probabilitythatan AP return would appear only once, and at that time appear to execute a perfect 
practice ILS approach? 

Case 35. Vandenberg AFB, Lompoc, Calif., 6-7 October 1967, 1900-0130 LST. Weather: clear, good visibility, strong temperature 
inversions near the surface caused by advection of very warm (80°-90°F), dry air over the cool ocean surface (water temperature 58°- 
59°F). This sighting begins with an apparent mirage (of a ship probably 60 mi. beyond the normal horizon) and continues with a very 
large number of unknown targets that were found on tracking radars which were being used in a search mode (they normally are not 
used in this way). The project case file contains a good analysis of the probable nature of the radar targets, some of which were 
apparently birds and some apparently ships tracked at 80 mi. ranges as well as other AP-like returns that 

[[259]] 



may have been associated with local intensification of the ducting layer. The nature of the visual objects is not as clear, although at 
least two of them appear to have been superior mirages of ships beyond the normal horizon. There were possibly some meteor 
sightings involved. 

The meteorological conditions were quite interesting. The warm, dry air was apparently quite close to the water surface, at least in 
places. Data from Vandenberg and San Nicholas island indicate that in places the inversion was no thicker than about 90 m. (10 mb 
pressure difference). The contrast that may have existed can be calculated from these data: 

At or Near Sea Surface: At 90 Meters or Less: 



Pressure: 1004 mb 994 mb 

Temperature: °F: 58°F 90°F 



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Temperature: °C: 14°C 32°C 

Temperature: °K: 287°K 305°K 

Optical N (5570A) 275 (ppm) 256 (ppm) 

The optical refractive index gradient that may have existed at the time was therefore on the order of -210 ppm. km"^ or a somewhat 
greater negative value, depending upon the thickness chosen for the layer. The value above is computed as (256-275) /0.090, based 
on the 90 m. maximum thickness assumed. Since the critical value of the gradient for a superior mirage is -157 ppm. km"^ it is quite 
apparent that the conditions required for the formation of extended superior mirages were most likely present on the date in question. 
The only problem with this explanation is the reported elevation angle of 1 0°, but as pointed out in the conclusions to this chapter such 
estimates by visual observers are invariably over-estimated by a large factor. 

[[260]] 



In summary, the conclusions arrived at by the investigators in this case seem to be adequately supported by the meteorological data 
available. 

The sighting reported for 12 October 1967, 0025 LST, seems to be a classic example of the description of a scintillating, wandering 
star image seen through a strong inversion layer. Note particularly the estimated ratio of vertical and horizontal movements. Two very 
bright stars would have been close to the horizon at this time: Altair, magnitude 0.9, would have been at 277° azimuth and about 4° 
elevation angle; Vega, magnitude 0.1, would have been at about 31 3° azimuth and about 12° elevation angle. Of the two, Altair seems 
the more likely target because of the smaller elevation angle; the observers gave no estimate of either azimuth or elevation angle. 

BACK TO TOP 

4. Summary of Results 

A summary of the results of this investigation is given in Table 1 . 

The reader should note that the assignment of cases into the probable AP cause category could have been made on the basis of the 
observational testimony alone. That is to say, there was no case where the meteorological data available tended to negate the 
anomalous propagation hypothesis, thereby causing that case to be assigned to some other category. Therefore, a review of the 
meteorological data available for the 19 probable-AP cases is in order. 

1. Everyone of the 19 cases is associated with clear or nearly clear weather. In 15 cases weather is described as "clear and 
visibility unlimited" (CAVU), in many of these "exceptional visibility" is noted; in four cases the weather is "generally clear," with 
some scattered clouds, or a "high, thin broken" condition (usually meaning cirriform clouds). Such weather is indicative of stable 
atmospheric conditions that are favorable for the formation of layered, stratified 

[[261]] 



Table 1 

Frequency of Occurrence of Most Probable UFO Causes 



Most Likely or Most Plausible Explanation 



Class 


Anomalous Propagation 


Man-Made Device 


Unknown 


No UFO 


Class Total 


l-A 


6 


1 


2 


0 


9 


l-B 


2 


1 


0 


0 


3 


l-C 


1 


0 


1 


0 


2 


l-D 


0 


4 


2 


0 


6 


All Class 1 


9 


6 


5 


0 


19 


ll-A 


6 


0 


0 


0 


6 


ll-B 


4 


2 


2 


1 


9 



I 



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All Class II 10 2 2 1 15 ' 

All Classes 19 8 7 1 35 



[[262]] 



refractive index profiles, i.e., they are conducive to anomalous propagation effects. The a priori probability of such a result, from a truly 
random sample of dates-times-places is roughly on the order of one chance in 200,000 (assuming that the probability of clear weather 
is roughly 0.5 in any single case). 

2. Of the 19 cases, all but two occur during the night. Although AP often occurs during the daytime, the nighttime hours are 
generally more favorable, and tend to greatly increase the a priori probability of encountering AP. 

3. In the 1 1 cases for which pertinent meteorological data are available, in every case the refractive index profile is favorable, to a 
greater or lesser degree, for the presence of anomalous propagation effects. The weakest case, the data for Silver Hill, 1 9 July 
1 952, (see p. 47), where inadequacies in the data were pointed out, has a near-super-refractive surface layer (gradient -81 
ppm. km"'' and an elevated subrefractive layer. Of the remaining 1 1 profiles, seven showing ducting gradients (-157 ppm, km"^ 
or greater negative value) and four show super-refractive gradients (-100 to -157 ppm. km"''). Since the a priori probability of the 
occurrence of such profiles is on the order of 0.25 (Bean, 1966b), the apr/or/ probability of this result, given a truly random 
sample, is on the order of one in 1 0^. 

In overall summary of these results, as they pertain to anomalous propagation of radio or optical waves, it seems that where the 
observational data pointed to anomalous propagation as the probable cause of an UFO incident, the meteorological data are 
ovenA/helmingly infavorof the plausibility of the AP hypothesis. That this result could have been only coincidental has been shown to 
be only remotely probable. 

BACK TO TOP 

5. Conclusions and Recommendations for Further Work 

The following conclusions can be stated as a result of the investigation reported in this chapter: 

[[263]] 



1 . Anomalous Propagation (AP) effects are probably responsible for a large number of UFO reports in cases involving radar and 
visual sightings. 

2. There are two common patterns that are evidenced in radar-visual cases involving anomalous propagation effects: 

a. Unusual AP radar targets are detected, and visual observers are instructed where to look for apparent UFOs and usually 
"find" them in the form of a star or other convenient object. 

b. Unusual optical effects cause visual observers to report UFOs and radar operators are directed where to look for them. As 
above, they usually "find" them, most often in the form of intermittent AP echoes, occasionally of the unusual moving 
variety. 

3. In radar-visual UFO sightings there is a pronounced tendency for observers to assume that radar and visual targets are 
correlated, often despite glaring discrepancies in the reported positions. There is a perhaps related tendency to accept radar 
information without checking it as carefully as the observer might normally do; hence errors are promulgated such as, direction 
of UFO movement confused with the azimuth at which it was observed on the radar scope, and UFO speed reported that is 
grossly at variance with plotted positions at times (both of these effects are well illustrated in Case 93-B). 

4. There is a general tendency among even experienced visual observers to grossly over-estimate small elevation angles. 
Minnaert (1954) states that the average "moon illusion" involves a factor of 2.5-3.5. The results of the present investigation imply 
that objects at elevation angles as small as 1 ° are estimated to be at angles larger than the true value by at least this factor or 
more. Interestingly, all of the elevation angles reported of visual objects in the cases examined in this chapter, not a single one is 
reported to be less than 1 0°. The fact that radar may subsequently "see" the UFOs at angles of only 1 ° to 4° seems not to bother 
the visual observers at all; in fact when the visual observers report apparent 

[[261]] 



height-range, these values often turn out to be equivalent to elevation angles of only a degree or two. There seems to be a 
sort of "quantum effect" at work here, where an object must be either "on the horizon" (i.e., at 0° or at an elevation of 
greater than 10°. 

5. There are apparently some very unusual propagation effects, rarely encountered or reported, that occur under atmospheric 



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conditions so rare that they may constitute unknown phenomena; if so, they deserve study. This seems to be the only conclusion 
one can reasonably reach from examination of some of the strangest cases (e.g., 190-N, 5 and 21 ). 



6. There is a small, but significant, residue of cases from the radar-visual files (i.e., 1482-N,Case 2) that have no plausible 
explanation as propagation phenomena and/or misinterpreted man-made objects. 

A number of recommendations for future UFO investigative procedures are indicated by the results of this chapter: 

1 . In any investigation of a UFO report, extremely careful efforts should be made to determine the correct azimuth and elevation 
angles of any visual or radar objects, by "post mortem" re-creation of sightings if necessary. This information is probably more 
useful in analysis of the case than the description of the objects or targets. 

2. Reported speeds and directions of UFOs, especially of radar UFOs, should be carefully checked (again, "post mortem" if 
necessary) and cross-checked for validity. This information is also often critical for subsequent analysis. 

3. Every effort should be made to get the most comprehensive and applicable meteorological data available for an UFO incident 
as quickly as possible. Many types of weather data are not retained permanently, and it is difficult or impossible to retrieve the 
appropriate 

[[265]] 



data for a sighting months or years after the fact. Copies of original radiosonde recordings should be obtained for the 
closest sites, since these may be analyzed in more detail than that routinely practiced by weather bureaus for synoptic 
purposes. It should be emphasized that, for example, a nighttime profile is usually more germane to a nighttime sighting 
than is a daytime profile. For example, if an UFO incident occurs at 21 00 or 2200 LST, an 0600 LST (next day) raob will 
generally be more pertinent to the propagation conditions involved than will an 1800 LST raob. The converse is also true. 

4. Any field team investigating UFO reports and seeking to explore all radio/optical propagation aspects of the sighting (a highly 
desirable goal), should be equipped with the following personnel as a minimum: 

1 . An expert on the unusual aspects of electromagnetic wave propagation, at both radio and optical wave lengths; 

2. An expert in the interpretation and theory of radar targets, who is acquainted with all types of anomalous propagation and 
other spurious radar returns; 

3. An expert with wide experience in the physiology and psychology of human eyesight, and familiarity with optical illusory 
effects, etc.; 

4. A meteorologist, with specialized experience in micro-meteorology-climatology, mesoscale meteorology, and 
atmospheric physics. 

[[266]] 



BACK TO TOP 

References 

Bean, B. R., B. A. Cahoon, C. A. Samson, & G. D. Thayer. A World Atlas of Atmospheric Radio Refractivity, ESSA Monograph No. 
1,U.S.G.P.O.,(1966). 

Bean, B. R., & E. J. Dutton. Radio Meteorology, National Bureau of Standards Monograph No. 92, U.S.G.P.O., (1966). 

Borden, R. C, and T. K. Vickers. "A Preliminary Study of Unidentified Targets Observed on Air Traffic Control Radars," CAA 
Technical Development Report No. 180, (1953). 

Minnaert, M. The Nature of Light and Colour in the Open Air, New York City, N. Y.: Dover, 1954. 

[[267]] 



BACK TO TOP 



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290 300 310 320 330 

A - UNITS 



Figure 1 
Radio Refractivity Profile 
International Falls, 6 Sep 66 



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CARSWELL AFB 



E 



t9 

LU 



— 13 rtb- fy5o 






0300 LST 










1 29m; -311 km' 

! 1 




— 


z 


\ — r- . 

I 145 m; -154 km 


1 1 r 







0 
280 



290 300 310 

A -UNITS 



320 



330 



Figure 2 
Radio Refractivity Profile 
Carswell AFB, 13 Feb 53 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 3: Radio Refr. Profile, SSt-Marie 



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5|- 3AULT SAJNT MARE 
IS SEPT. 1966 
0600 LST 



£ 



o 

LlJ 



0 
£90 




372m;-U2]<m 



300 310 320 

A -UNITS 



330 



Figure 3 
Radio Refractivity Profile 
Sault Saint IVIarie, 18 Sep 66 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 4: Radio Refr. Profile, Bismark 



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A-UNITS 



Figure 4 
Radio Refractivity Profile 
Bismark, 5 Aug 63 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 5: Radio Refr. Profile, Rapid City 



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A-UNITS 



Figure 5 
Radio Refractivity Profile 
Rapid City, 5 Aug 53 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 6: Radio Refr. Profile, Rapid City 



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5|- 



E 



- 4 



CD 
< 



X 
X 



RAPID CITY 
6 AUG. 1953 
0800 LSI 




I74nn; - 297 km 

L 



-I 



0 

260 290 300 310 320 330 340 350 360 
A-UNITS 



Figure 6 
Radio Refractivity Profile 
Rapid City, 6 Aug 53 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 7: Radio Refr. Profile, Ft Worth 



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5 


— 


W rUK 1 WUrt 1 H 


E 






1 / 19 SEPT. 1957 




4 


- 


\ / 1730 LST 


SURFACE, 


3 




r 


ABOVE 


2 




1 [ 

T— — .__^ 342m ,-160 km' 


1- 

X 

iD 






i ^^^^ * 


UJ 
X 


\ 


1 


1 \ 
1 ' 1 1 \ \ J 




290 300 


310 320 330 340 350 360 








A -UI^ITS 



Figure 7 



Radio Refractivity Profile 
FtWorth,19Sep57 

J 



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8: Radio Refr. Profile, 



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4 






1 / 


FORT WORTH 
20 SEPT. 1957 
0530 LST 




3 












km 




























HEIGH" 


2 










; - H3 km~' 


1 




1 


1 


1 

1 


y^r 1 




280 


300 


320 


340 


360 380 










A- 


UNITS 





Figure 8 



Radio Refractivity Profile 
Ft Worth, 20 Sep 57 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 9a: Radio Refr. Profile, 



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4 








E 










FACE, 


3 






SPOKANE 

10 DEC. J952 


SUR 








1900 LST 


ABOVE 


2 








HEIGHT 


1 










0 


1 








280 


290 " 300 
A -UNITS 


310 320 



Figure 9a 



Radio Refractivity Profile 
Spokane, 10 Dec 52 

NCAS Editors' Note: Figures 9a and 9b lAere displayed on a single page as Figure 9 in the original Report. 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 9b: Radio Refr. Profile, 



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1 1 


\ 








\ 
















o — 






LJ 








Q LU 


- y 








6 






»- 9 








i= ^ 
J < 


- 1 






< 








30,000 








28,000 








26,000 














-60** -55** -50° -45° -40^ 






TEMPERATURE - 






Figure 9b 




Temperature Profile 




Spokane, 10 Dec 52 


NCAS Editors' Note: Figures 9b and 9a were displayed on a single page as Figure 9 in the original Report. 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 10: Weather Map 



9/25/2014 



7^ 



I ' — I 

[LOW - MESOSCALE SYSTEM 





44 063 



j. 

X ° ^ 



( [LOW] ,'-42,081 o"^<F 



44 o083 , 
~r44J03 



^ t:48 086 r 0 

, , -41 ol09 ; ' [hIGh]'7'"^"'S, 
J^--^— --^ 0 " -41 III ,^ 

r HIGH > \^ 



i 




Figure 10 
Synoptic Weather IVlap 
Constant Pressure Chart, 300 mb, About 30,000 ft M.S.L. 
27 Jan 1953 (0300 Z) 



NCAS Editors' Note: The original ofttiis map included the entire continental US; in the interest of readability, only the 
portion containing meteorological data is displayed here. 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 11: Weather Map 



9/25/2014 



LOW = MESOSCALE SYSTEM] I 

r-- — ■- — ^ 



I i-20 9 4^ ^4 



LOW 



0-22 833 ^ 



-IT 



o 
o 



tNO WIND GIVENI-Jg 3 



I -!9\o WIND 




[HfGH]il£e^90V 




Figure 11 
Synoptic Weather IVlap 
Constant Pressure Chart, 500 mb, About 19,000 ft IVI.S.L. 
27 Jan 1953 (0300 Z) 



NCAS Editors' Note: The original of this map included the entire continental US; in the interest of readability, only the 
portion containing meteorological data is displayed here. 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 



12: Radio Refr. Profile 



9/25/2014 





4 
















3 














E 
















h-' 












BURWOOD.L.A. 




I 

CD 


2 


— 








G DEC. 1952 




HEI 


1 










0900 LST 










1 




L. 








260 




300 


210 


320 


330 










A- 


UNITS 







Figure 12 
Radio Refractivity Profile 
Burwood LA 6 Dec 52 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 13: Radio Refr. Profile 



9/25/2014 




A- UNITS 



Figure 13 
Radio Refractivity Profile 
Silver Hill MD, 19 Jul 52 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 14: Radio Refr. Profile 



9/25/2014 



4r 



3 - 



E 



X 2 
LjJ 



I - 



SILVER HILL, MO. 
25 JULY 1955 
2200 LSI 




I76m;~3l8 km' 



113 m; -102 km' 
1 



280 290 300 310 320 530 540 350f 360 
A- UN ITS 



Figure 14 
Radio Refractivity Profile 
Silver Hill MD, 25 Jul 55 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 15: Radio Refr. Profile 



9/25/2014 





4 


1 






SILVER HILL,MD. 
26 JULY 1952 
2200 LST 




o 










E 




1 








HEIGHT, 


2 


1 




.1 






) 


1 




1 
1 

147 m ; - 


J 67 km"' / 








I 


1 


\ \ \i 




3(0 


320 


530 


340 350 360 










A- 


UNITS 



Figure 15 



Radio Refractivity Profile 
Silver Hill MD, 26 Jul 52 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 16: Radio Refr. Profile 



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A -UNITS 



Figure 16 
Radio Refractivity Profile 
Topeka, 2 Aug 65 

i 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 17: Radio Refr. Profile 



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A -UNITS 



Figure 17 
Radio Refractivity Profile 
Oklahoma City, 2 Aug 65 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 18: UFO Course/Speed Plot 



9/25/2014 




1051 LST 



BELLEFONTAINE 
664 th 
AG a SQDRN 

UFO TRACK 

113 LST 
min, 

SPRFLD 



DAYTON 



W-P AFB 



18-3 min. 22 min. = 
50 mph = 44 knotts 



APPARENT UFO 
HEADING M!*» (291") 



Figure 18 
Wright-Patterson AFB, Aug 1952 
Course/Speed Plot of UFO 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 19: UFO Course/Speed Plot 



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AT 1113 LST 

A TO B ef 18.3 mi. 



Figure 19 
Wright-Patterson AFB, Aug 1952 
Course/Speed Plot of UFO 
NCAS EDITORS' NOTE: Figures 18 and 19 duplicate each other almost exactly. 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 20: Ray-Trace Diagram 



9/25/2014 

















SAULT STE. MARIE 








O f~' f\ /~v 

2600 




9 NOV. i967 












1800 CST 








2200 












1800 












1400 




/^-PROFILE 


yo* ELEV, ANGLE 


RAY 




1000 












600 












200 


















I 1 






U 




50 100 


150 200 


250 
km 



Figure 20 



Kincheloe AFB (Sault Ste Marie), 9 Nov 67 
Ray-Trace Diagram 

j 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 21: Radio Refr. Profile 



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290 



300 



SAULT SAINT MARIE 
12 SEPT 1967 
0630 LMST 
(f200 GMT) 




289 m ; - 110 km 



194 m; -201 km 
1 



310 320 

A-UNiTS 



330 



340 



Figure 21 
Radio Refractivity Profile 
Kincheloe AFB (Sault Ste IVIarie), 12 Sep 67 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 22: Radio Refr. Profile 



9/25/2014 





4 
3 

e 

t 2 

LJ 
X 

1 

0 
EE 


/ 

r \ 

y KEY WEST, FLA. 
/ 5 NOV. 1957 
OGOO CST 
>^ ( 1200 GTM) 

265m; +15 km 
^ 246 m ; -267 km"^ 


JO 300 320 340 360 380 

A-UNITS 



Figure 22 



Radio Refractivity Profile 
Key West, 5 Nov 57, 1800 CST 

I 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 23: Radio Refr. Profile 



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4 








KEY WEST, FLA. 

5 NOV, 1957 

1800 CST 
(2400 GMT) 

1 130 m ; - 107 km' 

I 1 


3 










\ I 134 m; + 105 Km 












EIGHT, ki 










^^^^^ 1 

^.--^ t 

?5>nm ■ w-Wfi^ U rn' 

ccv^mi, no Rrn 

>0p— 


X 

1 










807 m; + rs km' 
i 1 


ri 


DUCTING '-7 
GRADIENT ^ 
1 1 






-L. 


— ___303m;-E7i km' 

-J Ll^-t^b 


280 300 






320 


340 360 










-UNfTS 



Figure 23 



Radio Refractivity Profile 
Key West, 5 Nov 57, 0600 CST 

J 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 23a: Ray-Trace Diagram 



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3000 












2000 










GHT , 








/ V1-PR0FILE 


/ 0" RAY 


HEl 


1000 




— " "l 


1 ) 1 


_J 1 L 




0 




40 


80 f20 160 
DISTANCE, km 


f80 200 260 



Figure 23 



Key West, 5 Nov 57 
Ray-Trace Diagram 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 24: Radio Refr. Profile 



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4 
3 

E 

\- 

LiJ 
X 

1 

0 
3 


/ 

/ 
/ 

/ BALBOA, C.Z. 
/ 25 NOV. \95Z 
Y 1000 LSI 
i.^,,^^^ (1500 GWIT) 

132 m; -172 km"' 
1 1 140m: +126 km' 

138 m i -253 km ' / 

53m;- 238 km' / 

1 [ -J \ — r/ 1 ^ 


10 320 330 340 \ 350 360 

A -UNITS 



Figure 24 



Radio Refractivity Profile 
Balboa (Panama Canal) 25 Nov 52, 2200 LST 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 5, Fig 25: Radio Refr. Profile 



9/25/2014 





4 

E 
H 

X 2 
e> 

UJ 
X 

f 

0 


i 

6 BALBOA, C.Z. 

j 25 NOV. 1952 

/ 2200 LST 

/ (0300 GMT 11/26) 

^■--.^^^^^^ 269 m , - 106 km'' 

206 m ; - 95 km ' 
f 1 m , O km \^ j 

1 \ \ \ } 1 {JSP 


30 300 320 340 | 360 ^80 

A- UNITS 



Figure 25 



Radio Refractivity Profile 
Balboa (Panama Canal) 25 Nov 52, 1000 LST 



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Condon Report, Sec 3, Chapter 6 -- Astronaut Visual Obsrervations 



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Chapter 6 

Visual Observations Made by U. S. Astronauts 
Franklin E. Roach 



1 ■ Introduction 

2. The Spacecraft as an Observaton/ 

3. Orbital Dynamics 

4. Brightness of Objects Illuminated by the Sun 

5. Visual Acuity of the Astronauts 

6. Sample Observations of Natural Phenomena 

7. Observations of Artifacts in Space 

8. Unidentified Flying Objects 

9. Summary and Evaluation 
References 
Photographic Plates 

BACK to Contents 



NCAS EDITORS' NOTE: The numbering of sections in tiiis chapter lias been corrected; in the original report, numbering skipped 
from 6 (Sample Observations) to 8 (Obsen/ations of Artifacts). 



1. Introduction 

Astronauts in orbit view the earth, its atmosphere and the astronomical sky from altitudes ranging from 100 to 800 + nautical miles 
(160 to 1300 km.) above mean sea level, well above many of the restrictions of the ground-based observer. They are skilled in 
accurate observations, their eyesight is excellent, they have an intimate familiarity with navigational astronomy and a broad 
understanding of the basic physical sciences. Their reports from orbit of visual sightings therefore deserve careful consideration. 

Between 12 April 1961 and 15 November 1966, 30 astronauts spent a total of 2503 hours in orbit, (see Tables 1 and 2 ) During the 
flights the astronauts carried out assigned tasks of several general categories, viz: defense, engineering, medical, and scientific. A list 
of the assigned tasks that were part of the Mercury program is provided in Table 3 to give an idea of the kinds of visual observations 
the astronauts were asked to make. 

As a part of the program, debriefings were held following each U.S. mission. At these sessions, the astronauts were questioned by 
scientists involved in the design of the experiments about their observations, unplanned as well as specifically assigned. The 
debriefings complemented on-the-spot reports made by the astronauts during the mission in radio contacts with the ground-control 
center. In this way, a comprehensive summary was obtained of what the astronauts had seen while in orbit. 

This chapter discusses the conditions under which the astronauts observed, with particular reference to the Mercury and Gemini 
series, and the observations, both planned and unplanned made by them. The 

[[268]] 



Table 1 
Astronauts' Time in Orbit 

Flight 

Name Total Time In Orbit Designation* 





HOURS 


MINUTES 




Aldrin 


94 


34 


GT-12 


Armstrong 


10 


42 


GT-8 


Borman 


330 


55 


GT-7 


Belayeyev 


27 


2 


Voshkod II 


Bykovsky 


119 


6 


Vostok V 


Carpenter 


4 


56 


MA-7 


Cernan 


72 


21 


GT-9 



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Condon Report, Sec 3, Chapter 6 -- Astronaut Visual Obsrervations 9/25/2014 



Pnllinc 


1 u 


J.7 


O 1 - 1 u 


OUI II aKJ 




1*^ 
1 o 


1 O, III 


OUU|Jci 




1 R 

1 D 


ivi/A-y, o 1 -o 


1 CUIMlOU V 


94 


17 
1 / 


V Uol IrxUU 1 


Odydllll 


1 


ASK 


\/nctnk 1 
VUblUK 1 


OIUI 11 1 


A 
H 




IVI/A U 


OUl UUl 1 


71 


1 7 
1 1 


HT-1 1 

O 1 - 1 1 


Ol IbbUl 1 1 


o 


1 0 
1 u 


ivir\-'+, o 1 -o 


rxUi TldiUV 


OA 


1 7 
1 / 


VUbllKUU 1 


1— cUI lUV 


97 


9 


X/nQhknrI II 

V UbI 1I\UU II 


l_UVC7ll 




9Q 


Oil, O 1 1 ^ 


MrDivitt 

1 VIOL^ 1 VI LL 


97 


50 


GT-4 


1 Ml i\\jycii\^ V 


94 


35 


Vnqtok III 

V *JOH^i\ III 


r U|JU VlUl 1 


70 


^7 


V UbLUIx IV 


OOlll iicl 


oo 


A 


^y| A Q nry R 

IVIM-O, \D \ -D 




10 
1 \j 


42 


GT-8 

1 U 


Ol lc|Ji Ici U 


n 
u 


1 ^ 

1 u 


ivir\~o 


OLallUI U 




1 9 

1 £. 


o 1 -D, o 1 -y 


To roc hl/'/^x/o 
1 fcJi col ll\U Vd 


70 


^0 


X/nctnk \/l 


1 1 LUV 




1R 
1 o 


x/nctnk II 

V UblUIV II 


White 


Q7 


^0 


GT-4 


Yegorov 


24 


17 


Voshkod 1 


Young 


75 


41 


GT-3,GT-10 


Total (for 30 astronauts) 


2503 


39 


Total Man-flights 37 










*GT = Gemini series; IVIA and IVIR = IVIercury series; fliglits designated bywords beginning witli "V" refer to Soviet fliglits. 




[[269]] 








Table 2 








Log of Manned Flights 










Altitude 
Duration (Statute Miles) 


Fliglit Astronauts 


Launch Date Number of Revolutions Hr. Min. Perigee Apogee 


Vostok 1 Gagarin 


12 April 61 


1 


1 48 110 187 


IVIR-S Slieperd 


5 May 61 


Suborbital 


15 116 


MR-4 Grissom 


21 July 61 


Suborbital 


16 118 

j 



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Condon Report, Sec 3, Chapter 6 -- Astronaut Visual Obsrervations 9/25/2014 



\/nctnk II 


Titov 


R A 1 in R 1 


17 


0^ 


1ft 

1 o 


100 
1 uu 


1 RQ 

1 OC7 


MA-6 


Glsnn 


20 Fph fi2 


\j 


4 




100 

1 uu 


1fi2 

1 u^ 


MA-7 


OCII |Jd IICI 


24 Mav fi2 

^'~r IVidy 


\j 


4 






1fi7 

1 U f 


VnQtnk III 

V UolUIV III 


Mi ko\/dlp\/ 
In! ivuyciic V 


11 Ann R2 
1 1 AAuy 


R4 

UH- 


Q4 


oo 


1 14 

1 1 H 


1 '^R 
1 ou 


X/nctnk l\/ 


r UjJUVlUl 1 


19 Ann R9 


4ft 


70 


^^7 
o / 


119 


1 Rft 

1 OO 


MA -ft 


ooi II 1 1 d 


Ort fi2 


u 


Q 


l'^ 

1 o 


100 
1 uu 


17fi 

1 # u 


MA-Q 

IVI/A 


oUU|Jci 


1 ^ Max/ R'^ 
1 o ividy uo 


99 


'^4 

OH- 


90 


100 
1 uu 


1RR 
1 uu 


X/nctnk \/ 

VUolUlV V 


R\/ko\/ck\/ 
Dyi\uvoi\y 


14 li inp R'^ 

1 H- JUl DO 


ftl 

O 1 


1 1Q 

1 1 C7 


u 


107 
1 u # 


14R 

1 HU 


\/n<5tnk \/l 


1 CI Col ll\U VCl 


1 R li inp Pt^ 


4ft 


70 
1 u 


'^O 
ou 


1 1'^ 

1 1 o 


144 

1 HH 


V Uol ll\UU 1 


l^ornarox/ Yonorox/ Fookticox/ 
r\ui 1 idi u\/, icyuiux/, fcui\iiou\/ 


1 R Ort R4 


1R 
1 u 


94 


17 
1 1 


110 
1 1 u 


ZOO 


V Uol ll\UU II 


Roiax/dx/px/ 1 oonox/ 
Dddyciycx/, i_c7Ui lux/ 


1ft K/lpr R*^ 
1 o ividi uo 


17 
1 f 


97 


9 


107 
1 u # 


^^07 
ou f 


\J I o 


OIIOOUIII, luuiiy 


9^^ Mar R*^ 
^o ividi uo 


Q 
O 


A 
*+ 


OH- 


100 
1 uu 


I'^Q 

1 OZl 


CT-d 


MrDix/itt Whitp 

IX/IOL^I Xrl LL, VVIIILC 


liinR^ 
o uuii uo 


R'^ 
uo 


Q7 


'^O 
ou 


100 
1 uu 


17S 

1 f o 




oUU|Jci , oUiliclU 


91 Ai in R'^ 
^ 1 Muy uo 


1 90 


1Q0 


'^R 
ou 


100 
1 uu 


IftQ 
1 oy 


O 1 -D 


OUIIIIICl, OLClllUlU 


1 r>pr R*^ 
1 o UcLr Uo 


1R 
1 u 


9*^ 
^o 


'^l 

O 1 


100 
1 uu 


140 

1 HU 


yj 1 1 


Rnrman 1 nx/pll 

Ijyjl 1 1 Idl 1, l_UX^dl 


A Dpr R'S 
"t l^cu uo 


20*^ 
^uo 


oou 


oo 


100 
1 uu 


177 
1 # # 


O 1 -o 


MI 1 1 loll Ul ly , OLrUll 


1 R K/lar RR 

1 U IVIdl DO 


7 


10 
1 u 


49 

HZ 


QQ 


147 

1 H / 




O Ld 1 1 U 1 U , o U 1 1 Id 1 1 


li in RR 
O JUl 1 uu 


4R 

H-U 


79 


91 
z 1 


QQ 


144 

1 HH 


O 1 - 1 u 


inn Oniiinc 
TUUIiy, ouillllo 


1ft III! RR 
1 o JUl uu 


44 


70 


47 

H f 


QQ 


14*^ 
1 HO 


*GT-1 1 


Conrad, Gordon 


12 Sept 66 


45 


71 


17 


100 


151 


GT-12 


Lovell, Aldrin 


11 Nov 66 


59 


94 


34 


100 


185 



Total (of 24 flights) 



934 



1457 56 



*Extrenne altitudes of 475 and 850, respectively, were achieved in GT-10 and GT-11 by powered departures from the "stable" orbits 
indicated by the perigee and apogee given in the table. 

[[270]] 



Table 3 

Assigned Scientific Observations IVIercury Program 



Assigned Observations Numbers Equipment Results 



Observe dimlight phenomena to 
increase our knowledge of auroras, 
faint comets near the sun, faint 
magnitude limit of stars, gegenschein, 
libration, clouds, meteorite flashes, 
zodiacal light. 



6,9 Unaided eye. Camera, Voasmeter 
Photometer 



MA-6 not dark adapted. 

MA-9 saw zodiacal light and airglow. 
Photographs of airglow obtained. 



Measure atmospheric attenuation of 
sunlight and starlight intensity. 



Voasmeter photometer 



No result 



Determine intensity, distribution, 6,7,8,9 
structure, variation and color of visual 



Unaided eye with 5577-A filter Camera Airglow was seen on all flights; was 

photographed on MA-9. 



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Condon Report, Sec 3, Chapter 6 -- Astronaut Visual Obsrervations 9/25/2014 



airglow. 






1 

Filter was used on MA-7. 


Determine danger of micrometeorite 
impact and relate to spacecraft 
protection. 


6,7,8,9 


Visual and microscopic inspection 


One impact found on MA-9 window. 


Determine intensity, distribution, 
structure, variation and color of red 
airglow. 


8,9 


Unaided eye 


Detected visually on MA-8; confirmed 
visually on MA-9 


Test and refine theory of optics vis a vis 
refraction of images near horizon. 


6,7,9 


Unaided eye. Camera 
[[271]] 


Photographs MA-6, MA-7. 
Visual MA-7, MA-9. 


Table 3 (cont'd) 


Assigned Observations 


Mission 
Numbers 


Equipment 


Results 


Determine nature and source of the so- 
called "Glenn effect" or particles. 


6,7,8,9 


Unaided eye. Camera 


Discovered on MA-6; all others saw 
visually; MA-7 photographs. 


Compare observations of albedo 
intensities, day and nighttimes with 
theory and refine theory. 


6 


Unaided eye, Voasmeter photometer 


Not obtained due to instrument 
malfunction 


Photograph cloud structure for 
comparison with Liros photos. Improve 
map forecasts. 


6,7,8,9 


Camera with filters of various 
wavelengths 


MA-8 and MA-9 obtained scheduled 
photographs 


Take general weather photographs and 
make general meteorological 
observation for comparison with those 
made by Liros satellite. 


6,7,8,9 


Unaided eye. Camera 


All obtained photographs. 


Determine best wavelength for 
definition of horizon for navigation. 


7.9 


Camera with red and blue filters. 


Successful. The red photographs were 
sharper; the blue more stable. 


Obtain ultraviolet spectra of Orion stars 
for extension of knowledge below 3000 
A 


6 


Ultraviolet spectrograph. 
[[272]] 


Spectra were obtained but window did 
not transmit to expected wavelength. 


Table 3 (cont'd) 


Assigned Observations 


Mission 
Numbers 


Equipment 


Results 


Identify geological and topographical 
features from high altitude photographs 
for comparison with surface features as 
mapped. 


6,7,8,9 


Unaided eye, camera 


Photographs obtained on all. Quality 
best on MA-9. 


Identification of photographs of surface 
targets by comparison with known 
geological features. 


8 


Unaided eye. Camera 


Few selected ones obtained. Quality 
fair. 



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[[273]] 



sources of information are: 

1 . the official National Aeronautics and space Administration reports (see references), 

2. transcripts of press discussions during and following the missions, 

3. mission commentaries released systematically to the press during the missions, 

4. transcripts of astronaut reports based on tapes made shortly after return from the mission, 

5. personal notes made by me during scientific briefings and debriefing of the astronauts, and 

6. conversations with many of the astronauts. 

BACK TO TOP 

2. The Spacecraft as an Observatory 

The conditions under which astronauts made their observations are similar to those which would be encountered by one or two 
persons in the front seat of a small car having no side or rear windows and a partially covered, smudged windshield. 

The dimensions and configuration of the spacecraft windows, which are inclined 30° towards the astronauts, are given in Figure 1 . 
The windows are small and permit only a limited fonA/ard (with respect to the astronauts) view of the sky. The sphere of view around a 
capsule in space contains 41 ,253 square degrees, but the astronauts are able to see only 1200 square degrees or about 3% of that 
sphere; and only 6% of a hemisphere. The spacecraft can be turned to enable the astronauts to see a different area than the one they 
face, but fuel must be conserved and maneuvers were not usually made simply to provide a better or different view. In effect, therefore, 
94% of the solid angle of space around the capsule was, at any given moment, out of view of the spacecraft occupants. 

In addition to this restricted field of vision, the windows themselves were never entirely clean, and the difficulties imposed by the 
scattering of light from deposits on the window were severe. The deposits apparently occurred during the firing of third-stage rockets, 
when gases were swept past the windows. Attempts were made to eliminate the smudging by use of temporary covers jettisoned 
once 

[[274]] 




Figure 1 : Gemini Window 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[275]] 



orbit was achieved, but even then deposits were present on the inside of the outer pane of glass. Another source of contamination 
was apparently the material used to seal the glass to the frames. The net result was that the windows were never entirely clean, and 
scattered light hampered the astronauts' observations. 

There were differences from one flight to another in viewing quality of the windows and from one window to the other on the same 
flight. For example on Gemini 7, the command pilot in the left seat was able to identify stars to magnitude 6 during satellite night, while 
the pilot in the right seat was limited to magnitude 4.4. The difference of 1.6 magnitudes (a factorof 4.4) was undoubtedly due to a 
difference in window transmission. It should be noted that stars as faint as magnitude 6 can be identified from the ground only under 
superb conditions (absence of artificial lights and moonlight plus a very clear sky). 

The astronauts who had relatively clean windows often referred to the appearance of the night sky as seen in orbit, as similar to that 
seen by the pilot of a jet aircraft at 40,000 feet. 

The smudged windows affected the visibility of objects during satellite night due to the decrease in the window transmission, but the 
effect was even more serious during satellite daytime when the glare from the light scattered by the smudge often was so bright as to 
destroy the contrast by which objects could be easily distinguished. 



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BACK TO TOP 



9/25/2014 



1 



3. Orbital Dynamics 

Satellites in orbit are subjected to atmospheric drag, which ultimately causes them to reenter the earth's atmosphere, often producing 
a brilliant display as they do so. Reentries are sometimes reported as UFOs. Ore recent case in particular stands as an example of a 
reentry reported as an UFO and later identified tentatively as the reentries of Agena of Gemini 1 1 (Case 1 1 ) and Zond IV (sec Section 
VI, Chapter 2). 

[[276]] 




HUtHI il<L--J JbltMI 



Figure 2: Atmospheric Constituents vs Height 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[277] 




Figure 2: Atmospheric Density vs Height 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[278]] 



Space from 1 00 to 1 000 km. is not a perfect vacuum, nor is it isothermal. At about 1 00 km. the mean molecular weight of the 
atmosphere undergoes a marked change, where O2 becomes dissociated by sunlight into atomic oxygen (see Fig. 2 ). Up to about 
100 km. the temperature profile varies between about 200°K. and 300°K. Above 100 km. the temperature undergoes a steady 
increase to 1000°K. or more. Fig. 3 shows how the relative density of the atmosphere varies with height up to a height of 1000 km. 
Above 200 km. the density is sensitive to the asymptotic high-level temperature, too, which varies with the solar cycle and 
geomagnetic activity. 

If the earth were a perfect sphere and if there were no atmospheric drag, satellites in orbit around our planet would behave according 
to Kepler's Laws of planetary orbits around the sun. Table 4 is derived from Kepler's third law. The relationship between the period in 
seconds (p) and the mean distance in centimeters (r) is expressed by: 

4pi2r3 

p2= = 0.9906 x10-''9r3 

GMe 

where G, the gravitational constant, is 6.668 x 10"^ cgs and M^, the mass of the earth, is 5.977 x 1 grams. The mean speed in orbit 
(the last column) is obtained from the relationship: 

2Pir 1.996 xlO'lO 



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s= = ' 

P sqrt(r) 

By applying Kepler's third law we have implied the validity of Kepler's first two laws with respect to satellite orbits; i.e., that satellites 
move about the earth in elliptical orbits with the center ot the earth at one focus of the ellipse; and that the radius vector swept out by 
the satellite with respect to the center of the earth sweeps out equal areas in equal times. 

The angular velocity of a satellite, (proportional to the reciprocal of the period), decreases as the radius of the orbit 

[[279]] 



Table 4 



Radius of Orbit 




Period of Orbit Around Earth 


Speed 


r(km.) 


P(secs.) 


P(mins.) 


P(hrs.) P(days) 


S(km/sec) 


6378+200 


5310 


88.5 




7.78 


6378+500 


5677 


94.6 




7.61 


6378+1000 


6307 


105.1 




7.35 


6378+35,862 


86,400 




24 


3.07 (geostationary) 


6378+378,025 


2372x10^ 




27.4 


1 .02 (moon) 



* mean radius of earth = 6378 km. 

[[280]] 



increases. Thus the process of docking, or flying in formation with a satellite already in a preceding orbit becomes a complicated and 
difficult maneuver involving descent to a lower, and therefore smaller, orbit with the resultant increase in angular velocity causing the 
following orbiting body to approach the preceding. 

Atmospheric drag slows the satellite speed, especially near perigee, and this causes the satellite to swing out to a smaller 
subsequent apogee. The orbit contracts and becomes more circular. Eventually the satellite descends to an altitude where the drag 
causes the satellite to reenter the earth's atmosphere. 

Table 5 shows some calculated decelerations for a massive object such as a satellite, and a small meteoritic particle of 0.1 cm. 
diameter and density of 0.4 gm/cm"^ (mass = 2.09 x 10"^ grams). At 160 km. (the perigee of many of the manned space-craft orbits) 
the deceleration on the spacecraft is not trivial (0.01 7 cm/sec"^) and the orbit will slowly, but surely degrade to a reentry. Of interest in 
connection with the observation of small particles by the astronauts is the differential acceleration between the spacecraft and the 
particles. In a period often seconds small particles will "drift" away from the spacecraft a distance of some meters. Typical relative 
speeds of small particles with respect to the spacecraft have been estimated by the astronauts as 1 or 2 m/sec. 

During reentry, the spacecraft and fragments flaked off of its surface become luminous, producing the displays sometimes reported 
as UFOs. A satellite reentry normally occurs along a grazing path, but the trajectories of meteorites are more radial, and therefore the 
duration of luminosity is usually no more than two to three seconds. 

Table 6 shows the masses of objects for given apparent stellar magnitudes and varying periods of luminosity, calculated on the 
assumption that all the orbital kinetic energy of the object is 

[[281]] 



Table 5 

Deceleration Calculations 



Satellite Small Particle 

MASS (gm) 3.63x1 0^ 2.09x1 O^^ 

DIAMETER (cm) 400 0.1 

RATIO, AREA/MASS 0.00865 37.5 



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ALTITUDE (km) 
AIR DENSITY 

DECELERATION (cm-sec"^) 
Separation from craft after : 

1 sec 
10 sec 
100 sec 



160 
8.271x1 0-''^ 
1.741x10-2 



200 
1. 098x1 0-''^ 
2.311x10"^ 



160 
8.271x10"''^ 
18.86 



200 

1.098x10" 
13 

2.50 



1 .25 cm 
125 cm 
12500 cm 



[[282]] 



converted into light as a consequence of its deceleration on reentry. 

BACK TO TOP 



4. Brightness of Objects Illuminated by the Sun 

Astronauts have reported observations they have made, while in orbit, of artifacts (defined here as man-made objects) as well as 
observations made of natural geophysical and astronomical phenomena during flight. It is among the observations of artifacts that 
unidentified sightings are most likely to occur, if at all. 

A man-made satellite moving slowly against the star background has become a familiar sight. Even though the sun may be below the 
observer's horizon, the satellite, some hundreds of kilometers above the earth's surface catches the sun's rays and reflects them back 
to the ground-based observer. Since artifact sightings made from a spacecraft are frequently also the result of reflection of sunlight 
from a solid object, the question of the brightness of objects illuminated by the sun is pertinent to the consideration of observations 
from the space vehicles. One observation was reported of a dark object against the bright day sky (window?) background (see 
Section 9 of this chapter). 

Satellite brightness, as observed from the ground, is usually given in apparent stellar magnitudes because of the convenience of 
comparing a satellite with the star background. The unaided eye on a clear moonless night can perceive magnitudes as faint as 
between +5 and +6. Telescopic satellite searches are able to detect fainter magnitudes; for example, the United Kingdom optical 
tracking stations can acquire satellites as faint as +9 (Pilkington, 1967 ). The brightness of artificial satellites and their visual 
acquisition has been discussed by several writers (Pilkington, 1967; Roach, J.R., 1967; Sumners, etal, 1966; and Zink, 1963). 

Plots of the apparent visual magnitude of sun-illuminated objects as a function of slant distance (in kilometers) and of diameter (in 
centimeters) of the object are shown in Figs. 4 and 5 respectively. 

[[283]] 



Table 6 

Masses of objects (grams) forgiven duration of visibility and apparent magnitudes. 

DURATION OF VISIBILITY 
(Initial speed = 30 km/sec.) 



APPARENT 
MAGNITUDE 


1 Second 


10 Seconds 


100 Seconds 


5 


0.000078 gm. 


0.00078 gm. 


0.0078 gm. 


0 


0.0078 gm. 


0.078 gm. 


0.78 gm. 


-5 


0.79 gm. 


7.8 gm. 


78 gm. 


-10 


79 gm. 


780 gm. 


7800 gm. 



DURATION OF VISIBILITY 
(Initial speed = 7.5 km/sec.) 



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APPARENT .r^r^c, 

MAGNITUDE 100 Seconds 



-5 1000 gm. 

-10 100,000 gm. 



[[284]] 



In curve A of Fig. 4 and in Fig. 5 the illuminated object is assumed to be a sphere. In curve B of Fig. 4 the object is the Orbiting Solar 
Observatory (OSO) with its sails broadside to the observer (Roach, J.R., 1 967). The plots for the sphere are based on the assumption 
that a sun-illuminated sphere of diameter 1 meter at a distance of 1000 kilometers has an apparent magnitude of 7.84 (Pilkington, 
1967). From this, a general relationship between apparent magnitude, m, diameter, d in meters, and slant distance, r in kilometers, is 
obtained: 

m = -7.1 6 - 5.0 log d + 5.0 log r . . . (1 ) 

Fig. 5 indicates that artifacts 1 m. in diameter are brighter than m = +5 and therefore visible to the normal unaided eye to distances of 
1 00 km. The same spacecraft becomes brighter than Venus at her brightest (m = -3) if closer to the observer than 1 0 km. In the case 
of a non-spherical object with an albedo that is less than unity, equation (1 ) is only a guide and the references in the bibliography 
should be consulted for details. 

Fig. 5 is pertinent to the observation of the Glenn "fireflies" and the "uriglow" (see pp. 37, 38 this chapter) and shows that seen close 
up, i.e.; at 1 to 10 m., even very small sun-illuminated particles are dazzlingly bright. 



Legend 

Fig. 5. Apparent magnitude of spheres illuminated by the sun as a function of the diameter of the spheres. It is assumed that the 
distance from the observer to the spheres is 1 meter (Curve A) and 10 meters (Curve B). See equation (1 ) p. 286. 

Fig. 4. The apparent visual magnitude of objects illuminated by the sun as a function of distance between observer and object. Curve 
A is for a sphere of 1 meter diameter (see equation 1 in text). Curve B is for the OSO spacecraft assuming as albedo of 0.4, a window 
transmission of 0.5, a solar cosine of 0.5, and the OSO sails broad-side to the observer (Roach, J.R., 1 967.) 

[[285]] 











i 




V 






i: T 


j: io:d 



Figure 4: Visual Magnitude of Sun-illuminated Objects 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[286]] 




Figure 5: Visual Magnitude of Sun-illuminated Spheres 



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Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[287]] 



BACK TO TOP 

5. Visual Acuity of the Astronauts 

Reports by the Mercury astronauts that they were able to observe very small objects on the ground aroused considerable interest in 
the general matter of the visual acuity of the astronauts. One of the criteria in the selection of the astronauts to begin with was that they 
have excellent eyesight, but it was not known whether their high level of visual acuity would be sustained during flight. Therefore, 
experiments were designed to test whether any significant change in visual acuity could be detected during extended flights. These 
experiments were carried out during Gemini 5 (8 days) and Gemini 7 (14 days). 

An in-flight vision tester was used one or more times per day, and the results were compared with preflight tests made with the same 
equipment. In addition, a test pattern was laid out on the ground near Laredo, Tex. for observation during flight. The reader is referred 
to the original report for the details of the carefully controlled experiments, which led to the following conclusions: 

Data from the inflight vision tester show that no change was detected in the visual performance of any of the four 
astronauts who composed the crews of Gemini 5 and Gemini 7. Results from observations of the ground site near Laredo, 
Tex., confirm that the visual performance of the astronauts during space flight was within the statistical range of their 
preflight visual performance and demonstrate that laboratory visual data can be combined with environmental optical data 
to predict correctly the limiting visual capability of astronauts to discriminate small objects on the surface of the earth in the 
daylight. 

[[288]] 



In addition, the astronauts' vision was tested both before and after the flights and the test results were compared with preflight 
measurements. There were no significant differences in the level of their acuity, as shown in the following tabulation of test results: 

ASTRONAUT Preflight Postflight 

O.S. O.D. O.S. O.D. 



Cooper 



Far 
Near 



20/15 
20/15 



20/15 
20/15 



20/15 
20/20 



20/15 
20/20 



Conrad 



Far 
Near 



20/15 
20/15 



20/15 
20/15 



20/12.5 
20/15 



20/12.5 
20/15 



Borman 



Far 
Near 



20/15 
20/15 



20/15 
20/15 



20/15 
20/15 



20/15 
20/15 



Lovell 



Far 
Near 



20/15 
20/15 



20/15 
20/15 



20/15 
20/15 



20/15 
20/15 



It is clear that the men selected to participate in the space program of the U.S. have excellent eyesight and that the level of 
performance is sustained over long and tiring flights. 

At the same time, a hindrance to top observing performance was that the astronauts were never thoroughly dark-adapted for any 
length of time. Good dark-adaptation is achieved some 30 minutes after the eyes are initially subjected to darkness. A typical orbit 
period was 90 minutes during which the astronauts were in full sunlight for 45 minutes and in darkness for 45 minutes. The astronauts 
therefore were fully dark adapted for only 1 5 minutes out of every 90 minute orbit (assuming no cabin lights). 

BACK TO TOP 

6. Sample Observations of Natural Phenomena 

The Night Airglow 

The first American to go into orbit, astronaut John Glenn, (MA-6) reported observing an annular ring around the horizon during satellite 

[[289] 



night. It appeared to him to be several degrees above the solid earth surface and he noted that stars seemed to dim as they "set" 
behind the layer. Astronaut Carpenter (MA-7) made careful measurements of the angular height of the layer above the earth's surface 



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and estimated its brightness. All the astronauts have since become familiar with the phenomenon. Soon after Glenn's report (Plate 13) 
the ring was identified as an airglow layer seen tangentially. It is especially noticeable when there is no moon in the sky and the solid 
earth surface is barely discernible (Plate 14.); as a matter of fact it is easier to use the airglow layer than the earth edge as a 
reference in making sextant measurements of angular elevations of stars. 

Ground-based studies of the night airglow show that it is composed of a number of separate and distinct layers. The layer visible to 
the astronauts is a narrow one at a height of about 100 km. which, seen tangentially by the astronauts, is easily visible. (It can be seen 
from the earth's surface only marginally but is easily measured with photometers.) 

At a height of about 250 km. there is another airglow layer which is especially prominent in the tropics. It is probable that airglow from 
this higher level was seen on two occasions. Astronaut Schirra (MA-8) reported a faint luminosity of a patchy nature while south of 
Madagascar, looking in the general direction of India (NASA SP-12, page 53, 3 October 1962) as follows: 

A smog-appearing layer was evident during the fourth pass while I was in drifting flight on the night side, almost at 32° 
south latitude. I would say that this layer represented about a quarter of the field of view out of the window and this 
surprised me. I thought I was looking at clouds all the time until I saw stars down at the bottom or underneath the glowing 
layer. 

[[290]] 



Seeing the stars below the glowing layer was probably the biggest surprise I had during the flight. I expect that future flights 
may help to clarify the nature of this band of light, which appeared to be thicker than that reported by Scott Carpenter. 

All the astronauts of later flights knew of astronaut Schirra's sighting, but on only one other occasion was an observation made of a 
similar phenomenon. At 05h llm 34s into the Mercury flight, astronaut Cooper reported "Right now I can make out a lot of luminous 
activities in an easterly direction at 180° yaw ... I wouldn't say it was much like a layer. It wasn't distinct and it didn't last long; but it was 
higher than I was. It wasn't even in the vicinity of the horizon and was not well defined. A good size." I had occasion to query him a bit 
more about his report during a debriefing following the flight: 

Roach: More like a patch? 

Cooper: Smoother. It was a good sized area. 

Roach: You didn't feel this had a discrete shape? 

Cooper: It was very indistinct in shape. It was a faint glow with a reddish brown cast. 
The phenomenon was estimated to be at about 50° west longitude and about 0° latitude. 

The hypothesis has been advanced that the two observations are of the tropical airglow. We know from ground observations of this 
phenomenon that it is often observed to be patchy. The spectroscopic composition of the phenomenon is about 80% 6300A and 20% 
5577*Aring;. If a bright patchy region of 1 000 km. extension (horizontal) came into the view of an astronaut it could appear to be 
"smog appearing" (Schirra) or "reddish brown" (Cooper). The tropical airglow was relatively bright during 1962 and 1963, and 
became quite faint during 1964 to 1966, the sunspot minimum. During 1967, as the new sunspot maximum approached, the tropical 
airglow undenA/ent a significant enhancement. This solar 

[[291]] 



cycle dependence could account for the fact that the Gemini astronauts (1 965-1 966), although-alerted to look for this "high airglow," 
did not see it. 

The Aurora 

The Mercury and Gemini orbits were confined within geographic latitudes of 32° N and 32° S. Since the auroral zones are at 
geomagnetic latitudes of 67° N and 67° S it would seem unlikely that auroras could be seen by the astronauts. However two 
circumstances were favorable for such sightings. First, the "dip" of the horizon at orbital heights puts the viewed horizon at a 
considerable distance from the sub-satellite point. For example at a satellite height of 166km. (perigee for GT.-4) the dip of the 
horizon is about 13° and at a height of 297 km. (apogee for GT-4) it is about 17°. Second, the auroral zone, being controlled by the 
geomagnetic field, is inclined to parallels of geographic latitude as illustrated in Plate 15. Nighttime passes over the eastern United 
States or over southern Australia bring the spacecraft closest to the auroral zone. On several occasions auroras were seen in the 
Australia-New Zealand region. Plate 16 (Fig. 32-7 of NASA SP-1 21) shows a reproduction of a sketch made by the Gemini 7 crew. 
An auroral arch is seen below the airglow layer. 

The Visibility of Stars 

Satellite orbits are at a minimum height of about 160 km. where the "sky" above is not the familiar blue as it is from the earth's surface, 
Since the small fraction of the atmosphere above the space-craft produces a very low amount of scattering, even in full sunlight, it was 
anticipated that the day sky from a spacecraft would therefore display the full astronomical panoply. This was decidedly nofthe case. 
All the American astronauts have expressed themselves most forcefully that during satellite daytime, i.e., when the sun is above the 
horizon, they could not see the stars, even the brighter ones. Only on a few occasions, if the low sun was completely occulted by the 
spacecraft were some bright stars noted. The inability to observe the stars as anticipated is ascribed to two reasons; (1)the satellite 



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window surfaces scattered light from the oblique sun or even from the 

[[292]] 



9/25/2014 



1 



earth sufficiently to destroy the visibility of stars, just as does the scattered light of our daytime sky at the earth's surface; and (2) the 
astronauts are generally not well dark-adapted, as mentioned in section 5 of this Chapter. 

Mention has already been made of the dispersion in star visibility during satellite night because of the smudging of the windows. 
Under the best window conditions the astronomical sky is reported to be similar to that from an aircraft at 40,000 ft. Under the 
particularly poor conditions of Mercury 8, astronaut Schirra, who is very familiar with the constellations, could not distinguish the Milky 
Way. 

Meteors 

In general, meteors become luminous below 100 km., well below any stable orbit. Although organized searches for meteor trails were 
not part of the scientific planning of the NASA programs, sporadic observations were made by the astronauts who reported that the 
meteor trails could be readily distinguished from lightning flashes. Because of their sporadic nature, these observations cannot be 
systematically compared with the ground-observed statistics of the known variation of meteors during the year as the earth crosses 
the paths of inter- planetary debris. However, Gemini 5 was put into orbit shortly after the peak of the August Leonid shower and 
ground observations of the shower were confirmed in a rough way when astronauts Cooper and Conrad observed a significant 
number of meteor flashes. 

The Zodiacal Light Band 

Two factors tend to offset each other in the observation of the zodiacal light band from a spacecraft. A favorable factor is that the 
zodiacal band gets very rapidly brighter as it is observed as close as some 5° or 6° to the sun, as is possible from spacecraft in 
contrast with the twilight restriction on the earth's surface of about 25°. The ratio of brightness at an elongation of 5°, B(5), to that at 
25°,8(25), is 

[[293]] 



B(5) 

=50 

B(25) 

At the same time, it is difficult to detect the zodiacal band through the spacecraft window with its restricted angular view since one 
can- not sweep his eyes over a wide enough arc to see the bright band standing out with respect to the darker adjacent sky. By 
contrast, to locate the zodiacal band observing from the earth's surface, one can sweep over an arc of some 90°, in the center of 
which the bright band can be readily distinguished. 

The most convincing description of a visual sighting of the zodiacal band was by astronaut Cooper (Mercury 9). From his description, I 
concluded that he distinguished the zodiacal band some from the sun. 

Twilight Bands 

The satellite "day" for orbits relatively near the earth is about 45 mm. long. The sunrise and sunset sequence occurs during each 
satellite day. The bright twilight band extending along the earth's surface and centered above the sun is referred to by the astronauts 
as of spectacular beauty. 

BACK TO TOP 

7. Observations of Artifacts in Space 

in the decade since the launching of Sputnik I (4 October 1 957) a large number of objects have been put in orbit. With each launch, an 
average of five objects go into orbit. As of 1 January 1967, a total of 2,606 objects had been identified from 512 launchings, of which 
1,139 were still in orbit and 1,467 had reentered. The objects in quasi-stable orbits are catalogued by the North American Air Defense 
Command (NORAD), and up-to-date lists of orbital characteristics are given annually in Planetary and Space Science (Quinn and 
King-Hele, 1 967) from which tabular and graphic statistics have been prepared for this report. (Tables 7 and 8 and Fig. 6 ). 

[[294]] 



Table 7 

Number of Satellite (piece) decays or Reentries 

Reentries during 

Calendar Year 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 Total to date preceding year 



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Pieces put in orbit 
during calendar 

year 5 12 15 50 297 190 204 329 950 554 2606 



Decays as of: 



Jan. 


1963 


5 


8 


10 


22 


64 


92 








201 




Jan. 


1964 


5 


8 


10 


22 


66 


139 


83 






333 


132 


Jan. 


1965 


5 


8 


10 


22 


66 


141 


87 


210 




549 


216 


Jan. 


1966 


5 


8 


10 


23 


68 


141 


93 


233 


380 


961 


412 


Jan. 


1967 


5 


8 


10 


23 


71 


142 


98 


241 


455 


414 1467 


506 



Still in orbit as of 1 

Jan. 1967 0 4 5 27 226 48 106 88 495 140 1139 



[[295]] 



Table 8 

Summary of artificial satellites for the decade 1957-1966 
Total Launchings 512 



Pieces put Still in Orbit 

in Orbit Decayed (1 Jan. 1 967) 



Instrumented satellites 643 379 264 

Separate rockets 298 179 119 

Other fragments 1665 909 756 



Total 2606 1467 1139 

Percent 100.0 56.3 43.7 



[[296]] 




Figure 6: Launchings & Fragments, 1957-67 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[297]] 



At any given moment during the two-year period of the Gemini program (1965 and 1966) approximately 1000 known objects were in 
orbit. During the same biennium, there was a total of 918 known reentries. Even though the probability of a collision with an orbiting 
artifact is statistically trivial, NASA and NORAD coordinated closely to keep track of the relative positions in space of the objects 
orbiting there. 

Proton III 

An interesting example of an unexpected sighting of another space-craft was made by the Gemini 1 1 astronauts. Quoting from the 
transcript (GT-II, tape 133, page 1) 

We had a wingman flying wing on us going into sunset here, off to my left. A large object that was tumbling at about 1 rps 



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and we flew- we had him in sight, I say fairly close to us, I don't know, it could depend on how big he is and I guess he 
could have been anything from our ELSS* to something else. We took pictures of it. 



9/25/2014 



1 



The identification of the sighting (tape 209, page 2) was given as follows: 

We have a report on the object sighted by Pete Conrad over Tananarive yesterday on the 1 8th revolution. It has been 
identified by NORAD as the Proton III satellite. Since Proton III was more than 450 kilometers from Gemini 1 1 , it is unlikely 
that any photographs would show more than a point of light. 

The pictures referred to are shown in enlargement in Plates 1 7 and 1 8. The Proton III satellite and its rocket are included in the 
P.A.S.S. listings under the numbers 1966-60A and 1966-60B with the following characteristics: 

* ELSS extravehicular life support system 

[[298]] 





Satellite 
1966-60A 


Booster 
1966-608 


Launch Date 


1966 Julys 


1966 July 6 


Lifetime 


72.20 days 


46.33 days 


Predicted Reentry Date 


16 Sept 1966 


21 August 1966 


Shape 


Cylinder 


Cylinder 


Weight 


12,200 kg. 


4,000 kg. (?) 


Size 


3 meters long (?) 
10 meters long (?) 


4 meters diameter (?) 
4 meters diameter(?) 


Orbital Characteristics 


See P.A.S.S. Vol.1 5, p. 1 ,1 92 (1 967) 



Inspection of the photos taken at the time of this sighting (Plates 17 and 18 ) reveals considerably more detail than just a point of light. 
If the distance from the spacecraft to Proton III is given by the NORAD calculations, then we may infer the physical separation of the 
several objects in the photographs. Plates 17 and 18 are 100 x enlargements of the photographs of Proton III made with the Hasselblad 
camera of 38 mm. focal length. The scale on the original negatives was 1 mm. = 1/38 radian = 1°.508. The scale on the enlargements 
is therefore 1 mm. = 0.°.01508. Four distinct objects can be distinguished with extreme separation of 30 mm. corresponding to 0°.452 
or 3.55 km. at a distance of 450 km. The minimum separation of any two components is about one third of the above or more than 1 
km. Referring to the table of the Proton III dimensions it is obvious that the photographs are recording multiple pieces of Proton III 
including possibly its booster plus two other components. 

[[299]] 



Radar Evaluation Pod 

The sighting of objects associated with a Gemini mission itself is an interesting part of the record. In Gemini 5 a rendezvous exercise 
was performed with a Radar Evaluation Pod (REP), a package equipped with flashing lights and ejected from the spacecraft early in 
the mission. Although the primary aim of the rendezvous exercise was to test radar techniques, the Gemini astronauts, in their 
conversations with NASA control , commented (Table 9) on the visibility or non-visibility of the REP. Plate 19 shows a photograph of 
the REP made by the astronauts 

Referring to Fig. 4 , Section 4 of this chapter, the REP illuminated by sunlight should be of apparent magnitude -2 at a distance of 10 
km. (assuming a 1 meter effective diameter) and magnitude +3 at a distance of 100 km. 

The Agena Rendezvous 

The rendezvous with the REP was a rehearsal for the rendezvous and docking exercises with the Agena. In turn the Agena exercises 
were rehearsals for the coming Apollo program in which space dockings will be a part of both the terrestrial and lunar flights. 

The Agena vehicle is a cylindrical object 8 m. long with a diameter of 1 .5 in. Its size makes it a conspicuous object at considerable 
distances when illuminated by the sun. Plate 20 illustrates its appearance at distances varying between 25 and 250 ft. At 250 ft. its 
apparent magnitude when sun-illuminated is -9.74 (about 1/13 the brightness of the full moon) 



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The original plan was to rendezvous with an Agena on the Gemini missions 6-12 inclusive. The planned procedure was to send up the 
Agena prior to the launching of the manned spacecraft. In the case of the GT-6, the associated Agena did not achieve orbit, so a 
rendezvous with GT-7 was substituted. 

[[300]] 



Table 9 
Tabulations of REP sightings 



Tape 


Page 


Comment 


40 


1 


REP about 1 mile away 


60 


1,3 


REP near spacecraft (-4000 ft.) and is visible (flashing 
light) 


62 


1,23 




67 


3,4 


Looked for REP - Could not sec 


68 


1 


Looked for REP - Could not see 


76 


1 


Looked for REP - Could not see 


80 


2 


Looked for REP at distance of 75 mi. Did not see. 


234 


2,3 


Discussion of photography of REP 



[[301]] 



The sun-illuminated Agena, when close to the astronauts, was of blinding brightness. Details could be made out at a distance of 26 
km (GT-1 1 , tape 216, page 2). It was picked up visually at distances up to 122 km. (GT-1 1 , tape 50, page 7). Assuming an effective 
diameter of 4.0 meters, we note from equation (1 ) that its apparent magnitude was about +0.3 at a distance of 122 km. 

The Rendezvous of GT-6 and GT-7 

The rendezvous of these two spacecraft involved close coordinations of radar and visual acquisitions and of ground and on-board 
calculations. Some of the most spectacular photographs of the entire Mercury-Gemini program were obtained during the rendezvous 
and one is included in this report (Plate 21 ). 

Some of the drama of the rendezvous which also suggests the nature of the visual sightings is brought out in the words of astronaut 
Lovell during the post-flight press conference (tape 5, page 1 ). The question was asked of both astronauts - "What was your first 
reaction when you realized you had successfully carried off rendezvous?" 

Answer (Lovell): 

lean onlytalk for myself, looking at it from a passive point of view. I think Frank (Borman) and I expressed the same feeling 
~ it was night time just become light, we were face down and, coming out of the murky blackness of the dark clouds this 
little point of light. The sun was just coming up and it was not illuminating the ground yet, but on the adapter of 6 (Gemini 6) 
we could see this illumination. As it got closer and closer, it became a half moon and, it was just like it was on rails. At 
about half a mile, we could see the thrusters firing like light hazes; some thing like a water hose coming out ~ just in front of 
us without moving it stopped, fantastic. 

[[302]] 



The Glenn "Fireflies". Local Debris 

During the first Mercury manned orbital space flight, astronaut Glenn reported as follows: 

The biggest surprise of the flight occurred at dawn. Coming out of the night on the first orbit, at the firstglint of sunlight on 
the spacecraft, I was looking inside the spacecraft checking instruments for perhaps 1 5 to 20 seconds. When I glanced 



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back through the window my initial reaction was that the spacecraft had tumbled and that I could see nothing but stars 
through the window. I realized, however, that I was still in the normal attitude. The spacecraft was surrounded by luminous 
particles. 



9/25/2014 



1 



These particles were a light yellowish green color. It was as if the spacecraft were moving through a field of fireflies. They 
were about the brightness of a first magnitude star and appeared to vary in size from a pin-head up to possibly 3/8 inch. 
They were about 8 to 1 0 feet apart and evenly distributed through the space around the spacecraft. Occasionally, one or 
two of them would move slowly up around the spacecraft and across the window, drifting very, very slowly, and would then 
gradually move off, back in the direction I was looking. I observed these luminous objects for approximately 4 minutes each 
time the sun came up. 

During the third sunrise I turned the space-craft around and faced fonA/ard to see if I could determine where the particles 
were coming from. Facing fonA/ards I could see only about 1 0 percent as many particles as I had when my back was to the 
sun. Still, they seemed to be coming towards me from some distance so that they appeared not to be coming from the 
spacecraft. 

[[303]] 



Dr. John A. 0' Keefe has concluded that "the most probable explanation of the Glenn effect is millimeter-size flakes of material 
liberated at or near sunrise by the spacecraft" (NASA, 196 , pp. 199-203). 

Reference is here made to Fig. 5, Section 4. We note that the apparent magnitude of the sun-illuminated sphere of diameter 1 mm. at 
1 m. is -7. This is in general agreement with the description of brightness given by Glenn who referred to them as looking like steady 
fireflies. 

Observations by astronauts in subsequent flights showed that O'Keefe's interpretation is almost certainly correct. Astronaut Carpenter 
in Mercury 7 found for example that (NASA SP-6, p. 72). 

At dawn on the third orbit as I reached for the densitometer, I inadvertently hit the spacecraft hatch and a cloud of particles 
flew by the window ... I continued to knock on the hatch and on other portions of the spacecraft walls, and each time a 
cloud of particles came past the window. The particles varied in size, brightness, and color. Some were grey and others 
were white. The largest were 4 to 5 times the size of the smaller ones. One that I saw was a half inch long. It was shaped 
like a curlicue and looked like a lathe turning. 

A modification of the "knocking" technique used by astronaut Carpenter to get the "firefly" effect was used by some of the Gemini 
astronauts who discovered that a brilliant display resulted from a urine dump at sunrise. The crystals which formed near the 
spacecraft, when illuminated by the sun, looked like brilliant stars. Plate 22 illustrates the effect (GT-6, Magazine B, Frame 29). 

Similar spectacular effects were obtained by venting one of the on-board storage tanks when the sun was low. One such event is 
described by astronaut Conrad (GT-5, tape 269, page 2) speaking to the ground crew: 

[[304]] 



We just had one of our more spectacular sights of our flight coming into sunset just before you acquired us. Either our cryo- 
hydrogen or our cryo-oxygen tank vented, and it just all froze when it came out and it looked like we had 7 billion stars 
passing by the windows which was really quite a sight. 

The Glenn particles were observed to move with respect to the spacecraft at velocities of 1 to 2 m/sec. Thus the particles and the 
spacecraft have velocities identical within about 1 part in 4000 in all three coordinates. According to O'Keefe this implies that the 
orbital inclinations were the same within ±0.01 °. 

The Rocket Boosters 

The rocket booster often achieves orbit along with the primary spacecraft, and can often be seen by the astronauts until the relative 
orbits have diverged to put the booster out of sight. 

Extra-Vehicular Activity Discards 

Because of the crowded conditions in the Gemini spacecraft, the usual procedure after completion of extra-vehicular activity (EVA) 
was to discard all the equipment and material that had been essential to the EVA but was now useless. This material stayed in 
essentially the same orbit as the spacecraft and was visible to the astronauts after the disposal. An interesting example occurred in 
Gemini 12 mission when four discarded objects were seen some time later as four "stars" (GT-12., Astronaut debriefing, page K/3, 
4). 

Lovell: 

I did not see any objects in space other than the ones we had put there except for several meteors that whistled in below 
us during the night passes. I might mention we ~ during the last standup EVA we discarded, in addition to ttie ELSS, 
tiiree bags, one of which was the umbilical bag and the other had some food in it and the third one had several hoses that 
we 



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[[305]] 



were discarding. And I puslied tliese fonA/ard witli a velocity, I would guess, might be 3 or 4 feet per second. And we 
watched these for quite some time period until they finally disappeared about 2 maybe 3 or possibly 4 orbits later at 
sunrise condition, we looked out again and saw 4 objects lined up in a row and they weren't stars I know. They must have 
been these same things we tossed overboard. 

Much has been made of this event by John A. Keel, who apparently thought there was discrepancy between the number of objects 
thrown out by the astronauts (three) and the number of objects later seen as illuminated objects (four). The pertinent part of Keel's 
article follows (Keel, 1967): 

You never read about it in your local newspaper but during the last successful manned space shot - the flight of Gemini 12 
in November 1966 -- astronauts James Lovell and Edwin Aldrin reported seeing four unidentifiable objects near their orbit. 

"We saw four objects lined up in a row" Captain Lovell told a press conference on November 23rd, "and they weren't stars 
I know". Several orbits earlier, he explained, they had thrown three small plastic bags of garbage out of the spacecraft. He 
hinted that these four starlike objects standing in a neat row were, some how, that trio of non-luminous garbage bags. 

A careful reading of the original transcript however shows that four objects were discarded, i.e. the ELSS, plus three bags. 

BACK TO TOP 

8. Unidentified Flying Objects 

There are three visual sightings made by the astronauts while in orbit which, in the judgment of the writer, have not been adequately 
explained. These are: 

[[306]] 



1 . Gemini 4, astronaut McDivitt. Observation of a cylindrical object with a protuberance. 

2. Gemini 4, astronaut McDivitt. Observation of a moving bright light at a higher level than the Gemini spacecraft. 

3. Gemini 7, astronaut Borman saw what he referred to as a "bogey" flying in formation with the spacecraft. 
1. Gemini 4, cylindrical object with protuberance. 

Astronaut McDivitt described seeing at 3:00 CST, on 4 June 1965, a cylindrical object that appeared to have arms sticking out, a 
description suggesting a spacecraft with an antenna. 

I had a conversation with astronaut McDivitt on 3 October 1967, about this sighting and reproduce here my summary of the 
conversation. 

McDivitt saw a cylindrical-shaped object with an antenna-like extension. The appearance was something like the second phase of a 
Titan (not necessarily implying that that is actually what be saw) It was not possible to estimate its distance but it did have angular 
extension, that is it did not appear as a "point." It gave a white or silvery appearance as seen against the day sky. The spacecraft was 
in free drifting flight somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. One still picture was taken plus some movie exposures on black and white 
film. The impression was not that the object was moving parallel with the spacecraft but rather that it was closing in and that it was 
nearby. The reaction of the astronaut was that it might be necessary to take action to avoid a collision. The object was lost to view 
when the sun shone on the window (which was rather dirty). He tried to get the object back into view by maneuvering so the sun was 
not on the window but was not able to pick it up again. 

When they landed , the film was sent from the carrier to land and was not seen again by McDivitt for four days. The NASA photo 
interpreter had released three or four pictures but McDivitt says that the pictures released were definitely not of the object he had 
seen. His personal inspection of the film later revealed what he bad seen 

[[307]] 



although the quality of the image and of the blown-up point was such that the object was seen only "hazily" against the sky. But he feels 
that a positive identification had been made. 

It is McDivitt's opinion that the object was probably some unmanned satellite. NORAD made an investigation of possible satellites and 
came up with the suggestion that the object might have been Pegasus which was 1 200 miles away at the time. McDivitt questions this 
identification. 

The NORAD computer facility's determination of the distances from GT-4 to other known objects in space at the time of the astronaut 
McDivitt's sighting yielded the following tabulation. 

Table 10 



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(Source: Gemini News Center, Release Number 17, 4 June 1965) 



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1 



Number 



OR JFCT 




II iLCi 1 idLiL^i idi I r / Voo i 


Timp S T 

1 1 1 1 IC .O . 1 .J 


Distance in km. from 
GT-4 


Fragment 


975 




2:56 


439 


Tank 


932 




3:01 


740 


Fragment 


514 




3:04 


427 


Omicron 


646 




3:06 


905 


Omicron 


477 




3:07 


979 


Fragment 


726 




3:09 


625 


r 1 dy 1 1 Icl 11 


O f H 




O. 1 o 


yuo 


Omicron 


124 




3:13 


722 


Pegasus Debris 


1385 




3:16 


757 


Yo-Yo Despin 


167 




3:18 


684 


Weight 




Pegasus B 




1965-39A 


3:06 


2000 



A preliminary identification of the object as Pegasus B is suspect. When fully extended Pegasus B has a maximum dimension of 29.3 
meters, which corresponds to 1/20 minute of arc at a distance of 2000 km. This is much too small an angular extension for the 
structure of the craft to be resolved and thus does not agree with the description of 

[[308]] 



"arms sticking out." Later in the mission Pegasus B was at a much more favorable distance (497 km.) from the Gemini 4 spacecraft 
or four times as close as during, the reported sighting. Astronauts McDivitt and White reported that they were not successful in a 
serious attempt to visually identify the Pegasus B satellite during this encounter. 

The ten objects in addition to Pegasus B in the NORAD list were all at considerably greater distances away from GT-4 than an 
admittedly crude estimate of 10 miles (16 km.) made by McDivitt, and were of the same or smaller size than Pegasus B. They would 
not appear to be likely candidates for the object sighted by the astronaut. 

2. Gemini 4, moving bright light, higher than spacecraft. 

At 50h 58m 03s of elapsed time of GT-4, astronaut McDivitt made the following report. 

Just saw a satellite, very high . . . spotted away just like a star on the ground when you see one go by, a long, long ways 
away. When I saw this satellite go by we were pointed just about directly overhead. It looked like it was going from left to 
right . . . back toward the west, so it must have been going from south to north. 

Although McDivitt referred to this sighting as a satellite, I have included it among the puzzlers because it was higher than the GT-4 and 
moving in a polar orbit. It was reported as looking like a "star" so we have no indication of an angular extension. 

The suggestion at the time of sighting that this was a satellite has not been confirmed, so far as I know, by a definite identification of a 
known satellite. 

Conversations with McDivitt indicate that, on one other occasion, off the coast of China, he saw a "light" that was moving with respect 
to the star background. No details could be made out by him. 

3. Gemini 7, "bogey." 

Portions of the transcript (CT 7/6, tape 51 , pages 4,5,6) from Gemini 7 are reproduced here. The following conversation took place 

[[309]] 



between the spacecraft and the ground control at Houston and referred to a sighting at the start of the second revolution of the flight: 

Spacecraft: Gemini 7 here, Houston how do you read? 

Capcom: Loud and clear. 7, go ahead. 

Spacecraft: Bogey at 1 0 o'clock high. 



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Capcom: 


This is Houston. Say again 7. 


Spacecraft: 


Said we have a bogey at 10 o'clock high. 


Capcom: 


Roger. Gemini 7., is that the booster or is that an actual sighting'? 


Spacecraft: 


We have several, looks like debris up here. Actual sighting. 


Capcom: 


You have any more information? Estimate distance or size? 


Spacecraft: 


We also have the booster in sight. 


Capcom: 


Understand you also have the booster in sight, Roger. 


Spacecraft: 


Yea, we have a very, very many - look like hundreds of little particles 
banked on the left out about 3 to 7 miles. 


Capcom: 


Understand you have many small particles going by on the left. At what 
distance? 


Spacecraft: 


Oh about - it looks like a path of the vehicle at 90 degrees. 


Capcom: 


Roger, understand that they are about 3 to 4 miles away. 


Spacecraft: 


They are passed now they are in polar orbit. 


Capcom: 


Roger, understand they were about 3 or 4 miles away. 


Spacecraft: 


That's what it appeared like. That's roger. 


Capcom: 


Were these particles in addition to the booster and the bogey at 1 0 o'clock 
high? 


Spacecraft: 


Roger - Spacecraft (Lovell) 1 have the booster on my side, it's a brilliant 
body 

[[310]] 




in the sun, against a black background with trillions of particles on it. 


Capcom: 


Roger. What direction is it from you? 


Spacecraft: 


It's about at my 2 o'clock position. (Lovell) 


Capcom: 


Does that mean that it's ahead of you? 


Spacecraft: 


It's ahead of us at 2 o'clock, slowly tumbling. 


The general reconstruction of the sighting based on the above conversation is that in addition to the booster travelling in an orbit 
similar to that of the spacecraft there was another bright object (bogey) together with many illuminated particles. It might be 
conjectured that the bogey and particles were fragments from the launching of Gemini 7, but this is impossible if they were travelling in 
a polar orbit as they appeared to the astronauts to be doing. 




BACK TO TOP 


9. Summary and Evaluation 




Many of the engineering problems involved in putting men into orbit would have been alleviated if it had been decided to omit the 
windows in the spacecraft, although it is questionable whether the astronauts would have accepted assignments in such a vehicle. The 
windows did make possible many planned experiments but the observations discussed in this chapter are largely sporadic and 
unplanned. The program of engineering, medical and scientific experiments was sufficiently heavy to keep the astronauts moderately 
busy on a regular working schedule but left reasonable opportunity for the inspection of natural phenomena. 


The training and perspicacity of the astronauts put their reports of sightings in the highestcategory of credibility. They are always 
meticulous in describing the "facts," avoiding any tendentious "interpretations." The negative factors inherent in spacecraft 
observations which have been mentioned in this chapter would seem to be more or less balanced by the positive advantages of good 
observers in a favorable region. 




[[311]] 



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The three unexplained sightings which have been gleaned from a great mass of reports are a challenge to the analyst. Especially 
puzzling is the first one on the list, the daytime sighting of an object showing details such as arms (antennas?) protruding from a body 
having a noticeable angular extension. If the NORAD listing of objects near the GT-4 spacecraft at the time of the sighting is complete 
as it presumably is, we shall have to find a rational explanation or, alternatively, keep it on our list of unidentifieds. 

[[312]] 
BACK TO TOP 

References 

Air Force Cambridge Research Center, The U.S. Extension to the ICAG Standard Atmosphere, 1958. 

Duntley, SeibertQ., Roswell W. Austin, J.H. Taylor, and J.L. Harris. "Visual acuity and astronaut visibility, NASA SP-138, (1967) 
Hymen, A. "Utilizing the human environment in space," Human Factors, Vol. 5, No. 3, (3 June 1963). 
Jacchia, L.G. Philosophical Transactions, Royal Society, London A262 (1967), 157. 

Keel, John A. "The astronauts report UFOs in outer space," Flying Saucers - UFO Reports, Dell No. 4, (1 967), 32. 
King-Nele, D.G. Theory of Satellite Orbits in an Atmosphere , London: ButtenA/orths, 1964. 

McCue, G.A., J.G. Williams, H.J. Der Prie and R.C. Hoy. North American Aviation Report, No. S 10 65-1 176, 1965. 

NASA Reports on Mercury and Gemini Flights as follows: 

Results of the First United States Manned Orbital Space Flight (20 February 1962). Transcript of Air-Ground 
Communications of the MA-6 flight is included. 

NASA SP-6. Results of the Second United States Manned Orbital Space Flight (24 May 1962). Transcript of the Air- 
Ground Voice Communications of this MA-7 flight is included. 

NASA SP-12. Results of the Third United States Manned Orbital Space Flight (3 October 1962). Transcript of the Air- 
Ground Communications of this MA-8 flight is included. 

NASA SR"45. Mercury Project Summary including results of the Fourth Manned Orbital Flight (15-16 May 1963). Includes 
a transcript of Air-Ground Voice Communication for MA-9. 

MA-9 Scientific Debriefing held on (2 June 1963). 

Manned Space Flight Experiments Symposium, Gemini Missions III and IV, (18-19 October 1 965). 

[[313]] 



NASA SP-121, Gemini Mid Program Conference, (February 1966). NASA SP-138, Gemini Summary Conference, 
(February 1967). 

Pilkington, J.A. "The visual appearance of artificial earth satellites," Planetary and Space Science, Vol. 15, (1967), 1535. 

Quinn, E. and D.G. King-Nele. "Table of earth satellites launched in 1966," Planetary and Space Science, Vol. 15, (1967), 1 181 . 

Roach, J.R., R.E. Hathaway, V.L. Easterly and R.H. Sahlehouse. Final Report, F67-05, Contract NAS 8-18119, (1967), 3-23, 24,25. 

Summers, L.G., R.A. Shea and K. Ziedman. "Unaided visual detection of target satellites," Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 3, 
No. 1, (January 1966). 

Zink, D.L. "Visual experiences of the astronauts and cosmonauts," Human Factors, Vol. 5, No. 3, (June 1963). 

[[314]] 



BACK TO TOP 



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THE GEMINI WINDOW 



6 inches 



50* 



13 5 inches 



6.5 inches 
— 30' — 



6 inches ^0' 



4-^ 




Figure 1 
Gemini Window 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 6, Fig 2: Atmospheric Constituents vs Height 



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N2(SEA LEVEL) 
'□^(SEA LEVEL) 



CO 

E 

o 

w 15 
lu 



a: 
< 

Q. 



10 



(0 

lU 
Q 

CQ 



o 



NUMBER DENSITY 
OF ATMOSPHERIC 
CONSTITUENTS vs. 
HEIGHT. Too = 1200*' K 




500 1000 1500 

HEIGHT (KILOMETERS) 



2000 



Figure 2 

Density of Atmospheric Constituents vs Heigth 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 6, Fig 3: Atmospheric Density vs Height 



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0 200 400 600 800 1000 
H IN KILOMETERS 



Figure 3 
Atmospheric Density vs Heigth 

i 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 6, Fig 4: Apparent Magnitude vs Diameter 



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LU 

8-5 



o 



UJ 

Of 

< 

Q. 
Q. 
< 



^ A: SPH 
\. B: THE 


ERE OF 1 METER C 
OSO SPACECRAFl 


IIAMETER 

r 


_ 




— 









10 100 
SLANT DISTANCE IN KILOMETERS 



1000 



Figure 4 

Apparent magnitude of spheres illuminated by the sun as a function of the diameter of the spheres. 
It is assumed that the distance from the observer to the spheres is 1 meter (Curve A) and 1 0 meters 
(Curve B). See equation (1) p. 286. 

NCAS EDITORS' NOTE: The photocopies of this figure and Figure 5 did not scan properly, so it ms 
necessary to regenerate the figures from scratch. 



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The apparent visual magnitude of objects illuminated by the sun as a function of distance between 
observer and object. Curve A is for a sphere of 1 meter diameter (see equation 1 in text). Curve B is 
for the OSO spacecraft assuming an albedo of 0.4, a window transmission of 0.5, a solar cosine of 
0.5, and the OSO sails broadside to the observer (Roach, J. R., 1967) 



NCAS EDITORS' NOTE: The photocopies of this figure and Figure 4 did not scan properly, so it ms 
necessary to regenerate the figures from scratch. 



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Condon Report, Sec III, Chap 6, Fig 6: 



Objects in orbit 



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Chapter 7 

Public Attitudes Toward UFO Phenomena 
Aldora Lee 



1 ■ Introduction 

2. Prior Research 

3. The Colorado Study of Public Attitudes 
References 

BACK to Contents 

I 

1. Introduction 

Reported in this chapter are the findings of four opinion surveys conducted during the spring of 1968. The major surveys were of 2050 
adults and 451 teen-agers, representing a cross-section of the U. S. population. The other two surveys concerned college students 
and UFO sighters. These latter two however, are not representative samples of college students and UFO sighters. In this report, 
opinions regarding the proportion of sighters in the United States, opinions regarding the reporting of UFOs, and attitudes toward 
UFOs and related phenomena are considered. 

It has been suggested that UFO phenomena should be studied by both physical and social scientists. Although some events are 
easily categorized as physical and others as social, some do not belong exclusively in one or the other domain of investigation. A 
focus of the study of tornadoes or other natural disasters, for example, may be upon the physical origin, evolution and demise of the 
phenomenon, a problem for the physical scientist; another focus maybe upon the behavior and attitudes of individuals regarding the 
phenomenon, a problem for the social or behavioral scientist. In such cases not only does the phenomenon have potential implications 
regarding the physical world, but it also has implications for the behavior of individuals as a function of that kind of situation. 

Still, another condition may obtain. If a reported phenomenon is as yet ill-defined, it is particularly appropriate to investigate both its 
physical and social aspects in order to maximize the amount of information to be gained and to delimit the parameters of that 
phenomenon. 

Two other considerations also support the study of opinions and attitudes regarding UFO phenomena. First, the great majority of UFO 
reports consist entirely of verbal reports; material or physical evidence is infrequently available. Even when evidence of some kind is 
provided, 

[[315]] 



there is still necessarily a heavy reliance on the description provided by the observer. Second, most UFO reports are dependent on 
the perceptual and cognitive processes (Considerations regarding the nature of perception and misinterpretation are examined in 
Section VI Chapters 1 , 2, & 3). But perception influences and is influenced by the attitudes and beliefs of the perceiver. Equally 
important is the fact that the attitudes and beliefs of any individual exist in a social context and are either congruent or incongruent with 
the attitudes and beliefs of others. In the case of attitudes regarding UFOs and related topics, it is not known whether the beliefs of for 
example, sighters and non-sighters differ, much less what degrees of opinion characterize the public at large. 

Finally, a study of opinions and attitudes toward UFO phenomena gains support from the fact that public opinion, concerning an 
apparently ill-defined phenomenon, was one reason for the establishment of the Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects of the 
University of Colorado. 

In the past three public opinion polls regarding "flying saucers" have been conducted by the American Institute of Public Opinion, more 
familiarly known as the Gallup Poll. The report of the first poll appeared in August of 1947, shortly after Kenneth Arnold's widely 
publicized report of flying saucers. The Gallup new release indicate that 90% of the American public had heard of flying saucers 
(Gallup, 1 947). About three years later, a second poll was conducted; at that time 94% of those polled had heard or read about flying 
saucers (Gallup, 1950). Sixteen years had passed when in 1966, the report of the third poll announced that "more than five million 
Americans claim to have seen something they believed to be a 'flying saucer'" (Gallup, 1 966). 

Because of the substantial public interest in UFO phenomena and the absence of information in the area of attitudes and opinions on 
the subject, opinion surveys were undertaken for the Colorado project in February 1 968. The primary surveys were of adults and teen- 
agers, representing a cross-section of the population of the United States and were conducted for the project by the ORC Caravan 
Surveys Division of 

[[316]] 



Opinion Research Corporation, Princeton, N.J. Two ancillary surveys, one of UFO sighters and another of college students, were also 
conducted. Before these surveys are described previous research in the area of attitudes and opinions toward UFOs and related 
phenomena will be considered. 



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BACK TO TOP 

2, Prior Research 

In the 1966 Gallup Poll, 1 ,575 persons were interviewed according to a stratified area sampling procedure. The interview included the 
following four questions: 

1 . Have you ever heard or read about 'flying saucers'?" 

2. "Have you, yourself, ever seen anything you thought was a 'flying saucer' ?" 

3. "In your opinion, are they something real, or just people's imagination?" 

4. "Do you think there are people somewhat like ourselves living on other planets in the universe?" 

No further explanations or elaborations of the questions were provided, so that replies necessarily were contingent on the 
respondent's interpretation of such words and expressions as "real" and "people somewhat like ourselves." For example, that 48% of 
the respondents felt that flying saucers are real does not imply that the respondents necessarily view them as space-vehicles; "real" in 
this context suggests a multitude of alternatives (such as weather balloons, or secret weaponry, or airplanes), all of which would afford 
explanations other than "people's imagination." 

The major findings of this pol 1 appear in Table 1 . As also indicated by the 1947 and 1950 polls, all but a very small proportion of the 
respondents had heard or read about flying saucers. From the replies to the second question in Table 1 , the Gallup organization 
estimated that over 5,000,000 persons had seen a flying saucer. Responses to the third and fourth questions reveal that opinion is 
clearly divided among those who voice an opinion, and that over 20% say that they have no opinion. 

In general, the results of opinion polls maybe used in two ways: first simply to represent or typify public opinion; and second, to 
delineate characteristics which are related to differences in opinion. Taking the 

[[317]] 



Table 1 

Major Findings of the 1966 Gallup Poll 



No 





QUESTION 


Yes 


No 


Opinion 


Total 


N 


1. 


Have you heard or read about "flying saucers?" 


96% 


4 




100% 


(1575) 


2. 


Have you overseen any-thing you thought was a "flying saucer?" 


5% 


94 


1 


100%* 


(1518) 


3. 


In your opinion, are they something real, or just people's imagination? 


48%** 


31*** 


22 


100%* 


(1518) 


4. 


Do you think there are people somewhat like ourselves living on other planets 


34% 


45 


21 


100% 


(1575) 




in the universe? 













* Percents are based on the number of respondents who indicated that they had heard or read about flying saucers. 

** Real 

*** Imaginary 

[[318]] 



latter approach, the raw data from the 1 966 pol 1 were obtained from the Gallup Organization in order to examine the relationships 
between demographic characteristics of the respondents and their replies to the Gallup Poll questions. The finding presented here 
(including those of Table 1 ) are based on the Colorado project's statistical analyses of these data. 

To determine whether those holding different opinions differ or whether sighters and nonsighters differ with respect to other 
characteristics, the replies to the four poll questions were examined with regard to the region of the country in which the respondents 
lived, age, sex, education, and where appropriate, whether the respondents were sighters. 

The four regions of the country. East, Midwest, South, and West, did not differ from each other in the proportion of respondents who 
had heard of flying saucers. The differences among the proportions having seen a flying saucer, by region, also were not statistically 
significant. (To say that a difference /s statistically significant is to indicate that the difference is not likely to be due to chance alone. 
For example, a difference which is significant at the .05 level is said to be so large that that or one greater would occuronly 5 times 
out of 1 00 if only chance were operating). The proportion of respondents within each region indicating that flying saucers are "real" 



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varied somewhat, with the largest percentage to say "real," 52% from the West, and the smallest, 45% from the South, with 48% and 
47% for Easterners and Midwesterners, respectively. However these differences are not large enough to be statistically significant. 
When it came to consideration of "people on other planets," the percentage of Southerners, 27% to say "yes," was smaller than those 
from the other areas of the country. The percent of those from the East, Midwest, and West were 36%, 37%, and 35% respectively. 
The difference between southerners and others is statistically significant at the .05 level. No sufficient explanation can be offered for 
this regional difference on the basis of the present analyses. 

In addition, the data were analysed according to age. Respondents were categorized as being in their 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, or 
70 and above. The percentage having heard of flying saucers is constant 

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across age groups, as is the percentage who identify themselves as sighters. On the other hand, the age of the respondents does 
appear to be related to the replies to the other questions, as to whether flying saucers are real and whether there are people on other 
planets. The results of the analysis appear in Table 2. They show that the younger the respondents, the greater the proportion willing to 
indicate that they feel that flying saucers are "real." About twice as many persons in the youngest group answer "real" as answer 
"imagination," while in the oldest group the proportion answering "imagination" outweighs those replying "real." It can also be seen 
that the percent reporting "no opinion" varies, with a larger proportion of the older people than of the younger reporting "no opinion." 

The analysis by age of the question concerning "people on other planets" appears in Table 3. Again, response is related to age, with 
more of the younger respondents indicating an opinion. Of those who voice an opinion, the youngest persons are fairly evenly divided 
between "yes" and "no," while "no's" outweigh "yeses" two to one among the eldest. The above analyses of these two opinion 
questions strongly suggest that age is, in some way, an important factor in beliefs regarding UFOs and related topics. The 
implications of these findings are considered later in conjunction with the analyses of the opinion surveys of the Colorado study. 

When the questions are analysed according to sex, it is found that men and women do no^ differ in their replies, except to the question 
which asks whether flying saucers are real or imaginary. 43% of the men and 52% of the women indicate they think flying saucers are 
real; 35% and 26%, respectively, hold them to be imaginary and 22% of each group have no opinion. 

Although the relationships are not strong, the results of the 1 966 Gallup poll suggest that education is related to opinions. The greater 
the education, the higher the proportion who indicated they have heard of flying saucers, who think they are real rather than the product 
of imagination and who believe that there are people somewhat like ourselves living on other planets. 

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Table 2 

Responses to the Question: 



"In your opinion, are tlieysometliing real, or just people's imagination?" 



AGE 


Real 


Imagination 


No Opinion 


Total 


21-29 


55% 


26 


19 


100% 


30-39 


51% 


27 


22 


100% 


40-49 


51% 


30 


20 


100% 


50-59 


53% 


31 


16 


100% 


60-69 


38% 


33 


29 


100% 


70 and above 


32% 


42 


26 


100% 



[[321]] 



Table 3 

Responses to the Question: 

"Do you think there are people somevihat like ourselves 
living on other planets in the universe?" 



AGE Yes No No Opinion Total 

I 



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21-29 
30-39 
40-49 
50-59 
60-69 



42% 
41% 
35% 
29% 
29% 
23% 



41 
39 
48 
51 
44 
47 



17 
21 
18 
20 
27 
30 



100% 
100% 
100% 
100% 
100% 
100% 



70 and above 



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A comparison of sighters and nonsighters shows that sighters are more inclined to say that flying saucers are real, 76% of the sighters 
as compared with 46% of the nonsighters, and that there are people on other planets, 51 % as compared with 34%. 

In summary, the analysis of the 1966 Gallup data indicate the following: 

1 . Most Americans, 96%, have heard of flying saucers. 

2. About 5% of the population claim to have seen a flying saucer. 

3. About one-half of the population feel that they are real. 

4. About one-third feel that there are people on other planets. 

5. People who are better educated are more likely to have heard of flying saucers. 

6. Sighters do not differ from nonsighters with respect to education, region of the country, age, or sex. 

7. Age, sex, and education all appear to be related to whether flying saucers are considered to be real or imaginary. That is, 
younger persons, women, and those who are better educated tend to be more inclined than older persons, men, and the less 
educated, respectively, to consider flying saucers to be real. 

8. Age, education, and respondent's region of the country appear to be related to whether it seems possible that there are people 
on other planets in the universe. That is, younger persons, those who are better educated, and individuals from the East, 
Midwest, and West are more inclined than older persons, the less well educated, and those who reside in the South to think that 
there are "people somewhat like ourselves on other planets in the universe." 

The findings of Scott (1966) provide a different kind of information about the investigation of attitudes regarding UFOs. His study was 
concerned with the problem of an individual's public association with UFO phenomena. Because it is commonly said that people will 
not report a flying saucer because they are reluctant to be associated with such a controversial topic, he undertook a small study to 
determine whether individuals would be less inclined to indicate acquaintance with the phenomena under public than under private 
conditions. 



As the instructor of a class of 210 students in introductory psychology, he explained that he was collecting some data for a colleague 
and asked the students to indicate, by raising their hands, if they had seen each of the objects he was about to name. Each of the 1 1 
objects that were named referred to one of three sets: neutral items, taboo (socially unacceptable or negatively sanctioned) items, and 
unidentified flying objects. Seven of the items were neutral, two taboo, and two UFO. The two items in the UFO set were "UFO" and 
"flying saucer." The number of responses to each item was recorded. A short time later, an assistant arrived with questionnaire forms 
listing all 1 1 items. The instructor indicated that he had already completed the survey; the assistant said that there must have been 
some misunderstanding because the students were to have indicated their answers on the forms he had brought. Subsequently the 
students filled in the forms. Later the written responses were tallied and compared with the results of the previous inquiry. The study 
thus involved the comparison of public response when the response of the individual was visible to others, versus a private response, 
when the responses could not be observed and would remain anonymous. 

A comparison of the number of students indicating that they had seen a given object under the public condition and the number under 
the private condition revealed a general increase for all items. The mean percent increase for the seven neutral items, which may 
serve as a baseline for comparison, was 24%. The mean increase for the two taboo items was 85% and for the two UFO items 61 %. 
Comparisons among the three classes of items suggest that the public-private discrepancy for "UFO" and "flying saucer" is more like 
that for taboo words than that for neutral objects. That is, the subjects appeared to be nearly as reluctant to be associated publicly with 
these words as with the taboo words. 



[[323]] 



BACK TO TOP 



3. The Colorado Study of Public Attitudes 



Turning now to the 1968 Colorado Study, the objectives of the research to be reported in the remainder of this chapter are: 



1 . To estimate the proportion of the adult American population which represents sighters; 



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2. to compare sighters and nonsighters with respect to age, sex, education, and region of tlie country in wliicli tiiey live; 

3. to determine tlie attitudes of botli sigliters and nonsigliters regarding tlie reporting of siglitings; 

4. to assess attitudes regarding various aspects of UFO plienomena and related topics. 



METHOD SAMPLE 

INSTRUMENTS 



RESULTS SIGHTERS AND NONSIGHTERS 

VIEWS ON REPORTING 
ATTITUDES AND OPINIONS 
CORRELATES OF ATTITUDES 



METHOD 

SURVEY SAMPLE 

In the 1968 Colorado study, four surveys were carried out: a survey of adults, a survey of teen-agers, a survey of sighters, and a survey 
of college students. 

A. Adult sample, national opinion survey. 

The data in this survey were obtained by means of a personal interview research survey, conducted by the Opinion Research 
Corporation, of 2,050 adults 18 years of age and over residing in private households in the continental United States. Interviewing 
took place between 21 February and 13 March 1968. Sample selection was made by an equal-probability sample technique. A 
detailed description of the sampling procedure provided by Opinion Research Corporation appears in Appendix. Comparisons of 
population and survey sample characteristic appear in Tables 4 and 5, provided by the Opinion Research Corporation. The size of the 
sample and the method of sampling make it possible to make inferences regarding the American public at large and to make 
comparisons among subgroups. 

B. Teen-age sample, national opinion survey. 

This survey of 451 teen-agers was conducted in conjunction with the adult survey; each teen-ager who participated was a member of 
a household in which an adult was also interviewed. Comparisons of population and sample characteristics for teen-agers appear in 
Table 5, also provided by Opinion Research Corporation. 

C. Sighter survey. 

Data were obtained from 94 sighters of UFOs whose names were drawn from the project sighting files. In addition to reports made 
directly to the project, there were report files, duplicating in part cases on file with the Air Force's Project Blue Book and with NICAP. 

[[325]] 



Table 4 

Sample Characteristics, February 1968, ORC Caravan Surveys: Adult Sample 

The data in the table below compare the characteristics of the weighted^ Caravan sample with those of the total 
population, 18 years of age or over. The table shows that the distribution of the total sample parallels very closely that of 
the population understudy. 

Total Men Women 



Population^ Caravan Sample Population^ Caravan Sample Population^ Caravan Sample 



AGE 

18-29 26% 26% 25% 25% 26% 27% 

30-39 18 18 19 17 17 19 

40-49 19 20 20 20 19 19 

50-59 16 16 16 18 16 15 



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60 or over 21 20 20 20 22 20 



RACE 

White 
Nonwhite 



89% 
11 



89% 
11 



90% 
10 



89% 
11 



89% 
11 



89% 
11 



CITY SIZE 

Rural, under 2,500 
population 

2,500 - 99,999 

100,000-999,999 

1,000,000 or over 



29% 

19 
23 
29 



31% 

21 
23 
25 



30% 



70 



35% 



65 



27% 



73 



27% 



73 



GEOGRAPHIC REGION 

Northeast 25% 

North Central 28 

South 30 

West 17 



25% 
26 
33 
16 



25% 
28 
30 
17 



25% 
26 
33 
16 



25% 
28 
30 
17 



25% 
26 
32 
17 



Weights were introduced into the tabulations to compensate for differences in size of household and variations in completion rates 
between rural and urban areas. 

^Source: Latest data from U. S. Bureau of the Census, regular and interim reports. 

[[326]] 



Table 5 

Sample Characteristics, February 1968, ORC Caravan Surveys: Teen Sample 

The data in the table below compare the characteristics of the Caravan sample households with those of all households in 
the United States. 

U.S. Households'" Caravan Sample 



GEOGRAPHIC REGION 

Northeast 25% 24% 

North-Central 28 27 

South 30 32 

West 17 17 

CITY SIZE 

Rural 28% 29% 

2,500-99,999 19 22 

100,000-999,999 23 23 

1,000,000 or over 30 26 

RACE 

White 90% 89% 

Nonwhite 10 11 

FAMILY COMPOSITION 

Nochildren 51% 48% 

Children under 18 49 52 

With teen-aaers 12-17 21 % 23% 



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'Source: Latest data from U. S. Bureau of the Census, regular and interim reports. 

[[327]] 



The names drawn came from four major sources: case reports from Blue Book, case reports from NICAP, personal reports (i.e., 
cases from individuals who directly contacted the project), and reports from the file of all cases which have been investigated or 
extensively reviewed by the project staff. 

An attempt to obtain approximately 50 completed questionnaires each from the Blue Book, NICAP, and "Personal" files was 
undertaken by a systematic sampling procedure. In the case of the Colorado investigation file, the names and addresses of sighters 
were taken from all files extant at the time the sample was drawn. When more than one sighter per report was listed, the case was 
reviewed to determine who was the principal sighter, and only that person's name was drawn. 

A large number of cases did not include satisfactory mailing addresses for sighters. Consequently, it was necessary to select the next 
occurring file that did include a complete address in either the United States or Canada. Following this procedure, a total of 139 
cases were drawn from the Blue Book file to obtain 106 names and addresses, 140 cases from the NICAP file to obtain 95 names 
and addresses, and 55 cases from the Personal file to obtain 54 names and addresses. 

In the spring of 1968, each person whose name was thus drawn was sent a letter explaining the purpose of the intended opinion 
survey and requesting his participation. Anonymity of the individual was assured. Enclosed with the letter was a reply postcard on 
which the sighter could indicate whether or not he would be able to participate. Some letters were returned by the post office for 
insufficient address; no reply was received to some letters. Of those from whom we received affirmative replies (and therefore to 
whom we sent questionnaires), most participated in the survey. A comparison of the percents participating, not participating, failing to 
reply to the request letter, and failing to receive the letter, for lack of sufficient address, for the four file sources appear in Table 6. 

As would be expected, the rate of response is best for the "Personal" file. Most individuals represented in this file are those who 
volunteered information. In addition, a larger proportion of these cases occurred 

[[328]] 



Table 6 

Response of Sighters from Project Files to Questionnaire 



Personal 

Blue Book NICAP Letters Colorado TOTAL 



Particpants 


20% 


29% 


57% 


36% 


32 


Non-particpants 


14 


12 


17 


18 


14 


No Reply 


47 


55 


22 


44 


45 


Insufficient Address 


19 


4 


4 


2 


9 



Total Mailing 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 

N= (106) (95) (54) (39) (294) 



[[329]] 



since the beginning of the project. Among the four files, the greatest proportion of letters returned for insufficient address were sent to 
sighters whose names were drawn from the Blue Book file. The proportion of "no reply" persons is difficult to interpret, because it is 
impossible to know how many letters were never received and how many were received but went unanswered. Both Blue Book and 
NICAP files have the greatest proportion of older sightings, which in part accounts for their relatively poorer rate of return. The final 
sighter sample, on which the analyses are based, consists of 21 sighters form the Blue Book file, 28 from the NICAP file, 31 from the 
Personal file, and 14 from the Colorado investigations file. 

D. College survey 

College survey data were obtained between 4 April and 13 May 1968 from 12 college samples, representing 10 colleges and 
universities. The total number of students participating in the survey is 719. The names of the institutions participating and those 
individuals who assisted us in obtaining subjects appear in Appendix M. All but three sources of respondents were courses in the 



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behavioral sciences; one participating class was in a physical science department and two were special courses in flying saucers, ^ 
one offered at the University of California at Davis and the other at Wesleyan University. A description of the samples appears in 
Table 7. In this table, sample numbers correspond to the order in which completed questionnaires were received; however, the order 
of schools in Appendix M , referred to above, is alphabetical. Most questionnaires were filled out during a class period by students 
present on the day the questionnaire was administered. In a few cases, volunteers, rather than every student present, provided the 
data. In most instances students were not aware, until after they had completed filling out the questionnaire, that the research was 
being sponsored by the Colorado project. 

Although group, rather than individual responses were of interest, students were asked to place their names on the questionnaires, in 
order to discourage careless or irresponsible answers. (A few students chose not to provide their names; one class was required by 
its instructor to 

[[330]] 



Table 7 

College - University Sample Characteristics 



Sample 


N 


Administered To 


COURSE TITLE 


Aware of CU Sponsorship 


1 


118 


Class 


Intro. Psychology 


No 


2 


29 


Class 


Flying Saucers 


No 


3 


88 


Class 


General Psychology 


No 


4 


76 


Class 


Abnormal Psychology 


No 


5 


99 


Class 


Psychology of Personality 


No 


6 


95 


Class 


Child Psychology 


No 


7 


26 


Class 


General Physics 


No 


8 


19 


Class 


Flying Saucers 


No 


9 


91 


Class 


Intro. Psychology; Psychology of Adult Life 


No 


10 


44 


Volunteers 


Intro. Sociology 


No 


11 


15 


Volunteers 


Intro. Sociology, Anthropology 


Yes 


12 


19 


Volunteers 


Intro. Psychopathology 


Yes 



[[331]] 



fill in the questionnaires anonymously). The results of Scott's study (1 968) indicate that responses regarding UFO material under 
public conditions may be more cautious than under private conditions. Consequently, it was felt that if there were any sample bias in 
assessing students' views on UFOs and related topics, it would be in the direction of obtaining cautious answers. Moreover, national 
opinion survey respondents were assessed by personal interview (though anonymity was assured), and the participants of the sighter 
survey were aware that their names were known to the investigator (though, again, anonymity was assured). Requesting names from 
students, then, also make the conditions under which this information was obtained more comparable to the other surveys. 

Because the results of the national survey of adults serve to reflect the opinions and attitudes of the American adult public, they are 
given the greatest emphasis in the following analyses. Because of time limitations, only a portion of the data collected on each of the 
four groups could be analysed. 

BACK TO SECTION 3 

SURVEY INSTRUMENTS 

The instruments of this study are both attitude scales and questionnaires. Because some instruments are common to all four surveys 
(adult, teen, college, and sighter) while others are not, the instruments are listed according to survey, so that the set of instruments 
used in each is apparent. A brief description of each instrument is provided the first time it is mentioned, except in those few 
instances in which the data from them are not included in the present analyses. In such cases, the description of the instrument will be 
found in Appendix N , where it precedes the instrument. 

A. Adult sample, national opinion survey 

1 . UFO Opinion Questionnaire. This instrument is comprised of 29 statements regarding UFOs and related topics. All are 
presented as opinion statements; the respondent indicates whether he feels that the statement is definitely false, probably 
false, probably true, or definitely true. 

The items are considered singly, as expression of opinion on separate topics, and as sets comprising the following scales: 



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a. 


Outer Space scale - measures the degree to which respondents accept the hypothesis that UFOs are from outer 
space; 




b. 


Evidence scale - measures the degree to which respondents believe that there is evidence for the existence of 
UFOs (This scale, however, does not include items which suggest the origin of UFOs. The respondent may, if he 
wishes, reject the extra-terrestrial or outer space hypothesis, but still indicate that he believes there is evidence to 
support the hypothesis that UFOs do exist; 




c. 


Adequacy scale - measures the degree to which efforts of the government and its agencies in investigating UFO 
reports are perceived to be adequate; 




d. 


Secrecy scale - measures the degree to which government secrecy regarding information about UFOs is believed 
to exist. 

A respondent's scale score was determined first by scoring the answer to each statement in the scale either 
zero or one, according to whether the response was in the direction of acceptance (1 ) or rejection (0) of the 
variable measured by the scale itself, then obtaining the mean score for those items of the scale which were 
answered. 

Scale composition was determined jointly by manifest content and inter-item correlations, based on a sample 
of 205 of the surveyed adults, chosen by a systematic sampling procedure. The composition of each of the 
scales maybe found in Table 8. Homogeneity rates (Scott, 1960) and coefficient alphas (Cronbach, 19S1)for 
the scales appear in Table 8a Scale intercorrelations (Pearson Product Moment Coefficients (McNemar, 
1 962)) may be found in Table 9. 


2. 


A-B Scale - (The instrument is not included in the present analyses. Its description appears in Appendix 0). 


3. 


Adult Background Questionnaire - Includes questions concerning the following: 




a. 


demographic information; 




b. 


opinions regarding the reporting of UFO sightings; 




c. 


acquaintance with UFO phenomena. 


4. 


Background Questionnaire of the Opinion Research Corporation -Contains questions frequently asked by them for all clients. 






[[333]] 






Table 8 






Item Composition of Attitude Scales 






Scale QUESTION 
Number 




1 . Outer Space 1 . Some flying saucers have tried to communicate with us. 

1 1 . Earth has been visited at least once in its history by beings from another world. 

1 3. Intelligent forms of life cannot exist elsewhere in the universe 

15. Some UFOs have landed and left marks in the ground. 

23. People have seen space ships that did not come from this planet. 




2. Evidence 6. No airline pilots have seen UFOs. 

8. No authentic photographs have ever been taken of UFOs. 
24. Some UFO reports have come from astronomers. 




3 Com etence 3. The Air Force is doing an adequate job of investigation of UFO reports and UFOs 

generally. 

12. The government should spend more money than it does now to study what UFOs are and 

where they come from. 
18. The government has done a good job of examining UFO reports. 




4. Secrecy 19. There have never been any UFO sightings in Soviet Russia. 



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22. There is no government secrecy about UFOs. 

28. Government secrecy about UFOs is an idea made up by the newspapers. 



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1 



[[334]] 



Table 8a 
Reliability of Opinon Scales 
(based on adult sample) 



SCALE 


Homogeneity Ratio 


Coefficient Alpha 


Outer Space 


.31 


.69 


Evidence 


.22 


.46 


Adequacy 


.19 


.40 


Secrecy 


.24 


.49 


[[335]] 




Table 9 






Intercorrelation of Opinion Scales 






(based on adult sample) 




SCALE 


1 2 


3 4 


1 . Outer Space 






2. Evidence 


.40 




3. Adequacy 


-.32 -.26 




4. Secrecy 


.22 .32 


-.18 



[[336]] 



B. Teen sample, national opinion survey 

1. UFO Opinion Questionnaire. 

2. Teen Background Questionnaire ~ comprised of background questions appropriate for teen-agers. 

C. Sighter survey 

1. UFO Opinion Questionnaire. 

2. Sighter Background Questionnaire ~ includes demographic measures, questions regarding the reporting of UFOs, and 
question about information sources. 

D. College survey 

1 . College information sheet. 

2. UFO Opinion Questionnaire. 

3. A-B Scale. 

4. Current Events Questionnaire. (Neither the A-B Scale nor the Current Events Questionnaire is included in the present analyses. 
Their descriptions appear in Appendix P). 



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5. College Background Questionnaire - comprised of background questions appropriate for college students. 



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1 



BACK TO SECTION 3 
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 

The analyses of the data which are to be reported are of three kinds. The first section concerns the proportion of the population who 
identify themselves as sighters and the demographic characteristics of sighters and nonsighters, In the second section, the reporting 
of UFOs and attitudes toward reporting are examined. In the final section attitudes toward UFOs and related topics are discussed; 
data from each of the four groups surveyed are presented. 

SIGHTERS AND NONSIGHTERS 

All adults in the national survey were asked the question, "Have you, yourself, ever seen a UFO?" Three percent of the sample 
indicated that they had. In order to provide an analysis parallel 10 our analysis of the Gallup study's question, "Have you overseen 
anything you thought 

[[337]] 



was a 'flying saucer'?" the replies to the above question were examined with respect to four demographic variables: region, sex, age, 
and education. It was found that the proportion of sighters in the various regions of the country. East, Midwest, South, and West, are 
similar. Equal percentages of men and women say that they have seen an UFO. There are also no differences among age or 
educational levels. Differences with respect to these demographic variables, except for region of the country, were also absent in the 
project's analysis of the 1966 Gallup data. 

A point at which the results of the above analyses do not agree with those of the Gallup survey concerns the proportion of the public 
who say that they have seen an UFO. Three percent of our sample said they had seen an UFO while 5% of those polled in the Gallup 
survey indicated that they had seen as the question was worded, a "flying saucer." The difference between the results of the two 
surveys approaches statistical significance. The apparent discrepancy between the findings of the Gallup and the Colorado project 
surveys may be due to one or more variables, such as the difference in the wording of the two questions, or difference in sampling 
techniques. 

The findings of the study undertaken by the Colorado project suggest that the actual number of sighters in the United States is 
approximately 3.75 million. This estimate is based on the continental U. S. civilian population, 18 years of age and over Current 
Population Reports, 14 February 1968), the parameters of which were used in determining the survey sample characteristics. 

The actual number of sighters may, however range from as few as 1 ,000,000 to as many as 5,000,000. (A range, as compared with a 
specific number, takes into account possible sampling variation). 

BACK TO SECTION 3 

VIEWS ON REPORTING 

Attitudes toward the reporting of UFOs were covered in one of the Colorado project questionnaires by nine questions, five addressed 
to sighters and four to nonsighters. The previously conducted opinion surveys, by Gallup (1 947,1 9S0, 1 966) attempted to estimate the 
percentage of The American population who had heard of flying saucers and, in the 1966 survey, the number of sighters in the 
American population. However, 

[[338]] 



the Gallup organization did not attempt to determine what proportion of these self-designated sighters actually reported their sightings. 

A study which provides a basis for comparison is one concerned with the reporting of crimes. It was made for the President's 
Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration by the National Opinion Research Center under the direction of Philip Ennis 
(1967a, 1967b). This study revealed that 51% of those interviewed who had been the victims of crimes did not report them to the 
police (1967b). After reviewing the reasons people gave for not notifying the police, Ennis made the following observations (Ennis, 
1967b): 

First there is strong resistance to invoking the law enforcement process even in matters that are clearly criminal. Second, 
there is considerable skepticism as to the effectiveness of police action. 

Inasmuch as people show reluctance to report crimes, it should not be surprising to find that something thought to be an UFO 
frequently goes unreported by the sighter. In fact, it is commonly said that sighters are reluctant to report such events because of 
ridicule. (There are, in fact, some cases in which publicity and ridicule appear to have influenced the sighter to change jobs or move to 
another town). 

The questions designed to assess the reporting process in the present study were asked of sighters to ascertain whether or not they 
had reported their sightings and the reasons for their decisions, and of nonsighters, under a hypothetical circumstance of having seen 
an unusual object suspected to be an UFO, to determine whetherthey thought they would report a sighting and their reasons for their 
decision. In addition, sighters who had reported their sightings were asked to express their degree of satisfaction with the way in 
which the report was handled. 



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The first of the questions concerns the agency to which sighters had reported an UFO; the second, the agency to which nonsighters 
would report an UFO. The responses of national survey nonsighters appear in Table 10. Data for sighters identified in the national 
survey are not presented in the table because they are based on so few individuals that the results have no statistical validity. Data for 
sighters drawn from 

[[339]] 



Table 10 

Preference of Nonsighters for Agency to Which to Report a UFO 



AGENCY Percent 



Town or City Official 1 0% 

Police 56 

Newspaper 10 

Radio Station 9 

NICAP Newspaper 5 

APRO 3 

Local UFO Organization 8 

Air Force 15 

Airport 5 

Weather Bureau 5 

Other 1 

No one (other than family and friends) 16 



Total 143%* 
N= (1608) 



* In this and subsequent tables, percents are based on the total number 
answering the question. 



[[340]] 



project case files are also not presented, because the percentages obtained primarily reflect the sources from which the sighters' 
names were drawn. 

The primary finding from the sighters' question is that 87% of sighters indicated that they reported the sighting to no one other than 
family or friends. It would seem, then, that most sighting have little chance of coming to the attention of an agency, whether official, 
semi-official, or private. The failure to report UFO sightings appears to be more prevalent, 87%, than the failure to report crime, 51 %, 
as indicated in the Ennis reports (1967a, 1967b). 

By contrast, only 16% of the nonsighters indicated that they would notify no one save family or friends. In addition, over half of the 
nonsighters, 56%, indicated they would notify the police. There is clearly, a considerable discrepancy between results for sighters and 
for nonsighters. 

At least two possible explanations may account for the discrepancy between what people say they would do (responses of 
nonsighters) and what they in fact do, (responses of sighters) given the actual circumstance of a sighting: 

1 . The number of sighters in the study is small and thus may not accurately reflect the action of all sighters; 

2. Entertaining the hypothetical situation of having seen something suspected to be an UFO and actually being confronted with the 
decision precipitated by a sighting are quite different events. 

Although both sighters and nonsighters were asked for their reasons for reporting, responses from sighters identified in the national 
survey were not statistically meaningful because the answers are from so few respondents. Reasons given by nonsighters, which 
represent a response to a hypothetical situation, are interesting primarily in that they may be regarded as reflecting the views of most 
of the American public. As can be seen in Table 1 1, the dominant reason of nonsighters is "I would want to know what it was." The 
other alternative frequently endorsed is "because strange objects should be reported. 

In the questionnaire for project sighters was an identical question. Project sighters' reasons appear in Table 12 These sighters, who 



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[[341]] 

Table 11 

Major Reason for Reporting Given by Nonsighters 
Who Indicated They Would Report an UFO 

REASON Percent 



I would want to know what it was 49% 

Because strange objects should be reported 36 
I would be worried about it 7 
Because other people have seen UFOs 
It is the best way to convince people that UFOs really exist 4 
Other 3 



Total 100% 
N= (1382) 



[[342]] 

Table 12 

Major Reason for Reporting Indicated by Sighters from Project Files 



REASON Percent 



I would want to know what it was 29% 

Because strange objects should be reported 43 

I would be worried about it 6 

Because other people have seen UFOs 2 

It is the best way to convince people that UFOs really exist 1 1 

Other 31 



Total 122%* 
N = (94) 



* Percents total more than 100% because multiple reasons were permitted. 



[[343]] 



filled in a questionnaire sent to them, tended to give more than one "major reason." The alternatives "because a strange object should 
be reported," "other" (reason supplied by the respondent), and "I wanted to know what it was" were most frequently indicated, in that 
order. 

The sighters in the national survey who reported their sightings and the project sighters both were asked: "How satisfied were you with 
the wayyour report of the UFO was handled?" Those few sighters in the national survey who reported were about evenly divided 
between satisfaction and dissatisfaction; again problems of interpretation arise because the results are based on only seven 
sighters. The responses of project sighters are presented with qualifications. These individuals received their questionnaires directly 
from the project and the fact that they had been asked by us for further information may have altered their evaluations of the "handling 
of the report." More than two-thirds were satisfied. Not to be overlooked in the interpretation of these findings is the fact that their 
reports had survived the reporting process and had become case files. 



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The remaining national survey respondents, sighters who did not report and nonsighters who said they would not report a sighting, ' 
were asked to indicated which reasons influenced their decisions. Respondents were permitted to indicate as many reasons as 
influenced their decision, and they were asked to indicate the one reason that was the most important. A comparison of Table 13, a 
summaryofsighter responses, and Table 14, a summary of nonsighter responses, shows that the sighterand nonsighter groups are 
quite similar. The most important reason of both for not reporting was that the event was probably "something normal that must have 
looked funny for one reason or another." Fear of ridicule was the reason second in order of importance for both sighters and 
nonsighters. The combined replies to alternatives 6 and 8 which are concerned with knowledge about whom to notify and how to notify 
is third in order of importance, and the combined replies to alternatives 4 and 5 which suggest ineffectiveness and indifference on the 
part of authorities rank only fourth. 


These findings contrast markedly with those of Ennis, who found that more than one-half of the victims who did not report crimes had a 
negative 




[[344]] 








Table 13 








Sighters' Reasons for Not Reporting the Sighting to 
Anyone Other Than Family or Friends 








Reasons 
Influencing 
Decision 


Most Important 
Reason 


1. 


Did not want to take the time, might mean time lost from work 


0% 


0% 


2. 


Afraid of ridicule; people would think 1 was a nut or crazy 


28 


19 


3. 


Thought it was a private matter 


26 


8 


4. 


Authorities couldn't do anything 


19 


4 


5. 


Authorities wouldn't want to be bothered about it 


23 


6 


6. 


Didn't know how to notify them or know that they should be notified 


26 


10 


7. 


Too confused or upset to notify them 


4 


0 


8. 


Didn't know to whom to report it 


13 


6 


9. 


It was probably something normal that just looked funny for one reason or 
another 


58 


40 




Total 


197%* 


92%** 




N = 


(35) 


(34) 


* Percents do not total 100 because multiple reasons were permitted. 






** Percents are based on the total number of non-reporters the question. Eight percent of the respondents are not represented 
because they indicated more than one reason. 




[[345]] 








Table 14 








Nonsighters' Reasons for Not Reporting the Sighting to 
Anyone Other Than Family or Friends 








Reasons 
Influencing 
Decision 


Most Important 
Reason 


1. 


Would not want to take the time, might mean time lost from work 


7% 


1% 



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2. 


Afraid of ridicule; people might think 1 was a nut or crazy 


38 


20 


3. 


Would think it is a private matter 


12 


4 


4. 


Authorities could not do anything about it 


21 


7 


5. 


Authorities would not want to be bothered about it 


16 


4 


6. 


Do not know how to notify them or that they should be notified 


22 


4 


7. 


Would be too confused or upset to notify them 


9 


3 


8. 


Would not know to whom to report 


31 


12 


9. 


Probably the thing seen would be something normal that just looks funny for 
one reason or another 


63 


43 



Total 219%* 98% 

N= (219) (196) 



* Percents do not total 100 because multiple reasons were permitted. 

** Percents are based on the total number of nonsighters answering the question. Two percent of the 
respondents are not represented because they indicated more than one reason. 



[[346]] 



view of the effectiveness of the police (1967a). Although the present study is concerned not only with the police, but also with other 
agencies to which UFO phenomena might be reported, it appears that the treatment expected from such an agency is not the primary 
deterrent to reporting. If failure to report possible UFOs had the same origins as failure to report crime, ineffectiveness and 
indifference on the part of authorities should have attained a higher ranking among the alternatives. 

The finding that mostsighters do not report their sightings, and the nature of the reasons for not reporting, given bysighters and non- 
sighters alike, suggest two considerations regarding the reporting process. The first is related to rapport between the public and 
officials of public agencies. Having assumed that the event is "something normal," the sighter apparently feels that it is inappropriate 
to report it. "Appropriateness" may be the key concept here; the question raised is: "When is it appropriate to report something as a 
'possible UFO'?" 

The second consideration is access. Not knowing whom to notify and how to notify them reveals that the appropriate avenue is not 
available or, at least, is not visible to the individual. Hence the concepts of appropriateness and access seem to be interdependent in 
considering the problem of reporting. 

Further consideration of "appropriateness" is beyond the domain of this discussion, but various public agencies, although concerned 
with different problems, have attempted to solve the problem of access by making it clear to the public who is to be contacted. 
Examples of such efforts include the establishment of poison control centers and suicide prevention services, which - like the police 
and fire departments - may be reached by phone at anytime of day. 

If the public is uncertain as to what agency is to be notified about a possible UFO, its uncertainty may mirror uncertainty among a 
agencies themselves as to which of them should handle UFO reports. If such is the case (and our survey research has no information 
either to confirm or negate this possibility), it would account, in part, for both the uncertainty as to the correct procedure for reporting 
and the expectation that authorities may be either indifferent or ineffective. These findings 

[[347]] 



clarify some of the factors which influence the reporting process, as seen by the respondents at the time of the survey. 

BACK TO SECTION 3 

ATTITUDES AND OPINIONS 

The attitudes and opinion of the respondents in the four surveys will be discussed first in terms of responses to the single opinion 
statements and, second, in terms of scores on attitude scales measuring four general concepts. 

Attitudes and opinions are very similar concepts. Hilgard (1962) provides these basic definitions: 

Attitude. An orientation toward or away from some object, concept, or situation; a readiness to respond in a 
predetermined manner to the object, concept, or situation. Opinion. A judgment or belief involving an expectation or 
prediction about behavior or events. 

The reponses of the persons surveyed will be considered both as opinions and as attitudes. 



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1 

The 29 opinion items used in tlie surveys and tlie percentages of adults and tlie percentages of teen-agers responding "true" and 
"false" to each statement appear in Table 15. Interpretation of these findings, however, requires a word of caution. First, it must be 
noted that the proportion in agreement with one item is not necessarily the same as that for an item similar to it. It appears that a 
change in wording or a slight change in emphasis results in different responses. For example, it is possible that the use of the word 
"science," instead of "scientists," or "government," instead of "government agency" or "Air Force," even in the same context will not 
render the sane kinds of responses. Moreover, the items were initially selected to represent various beliefs which are frequently 
voiced with respect to the UPO problem. Consequently, some of the statements are fairly complex, and, as a result, complexity is 
another factor contributing to me variability in response. Therefore, the results appearing in Table 15 should be regarded simply as 
one way of describing public opinion. 


Table 15 reveals some fairly consistent differences between the adult and teen samples. For example, a greater proportion of teen- 
agers 




[[348]] 










Table 15 








Responses of Adults and Teen-agers to UFO Opinion Items 






Adults 






Teen-agers 


ITEM True 


False 


(N) 


True 


False (N) 


1 . Some flying saucers have tried to 24% 
communicate with us. 


76% 


(1886) 


37% 


DO /o ^H-OZ } 


2. All UFO reports can be explained either as 55% 
well understood happenings or as hoaxes. 


45% 


(1886) 


53% 


H-/ /O ^H-OOy 


3. The Air Force is doing an adequate job of 83% 
investigation of UFO reports and UFO 
generally. 


17% 


(1861) 


72% 


28% (434) 


4. No actual, physical evidence has ever been 63% 
obtained from a UFO. 


37% 


(1824) 


54% 


46% (433) 


5. A government agency maintains a Top 69% 
Secret file of UFO reports that are 
deliberately withheld from the public. 


31% 


(1852) 


73% 


27% (434) 


6. No airline pilots have seen UFOs. 41 % 


59% 


(1820) 


32% 


68% (432) 


7. Most people would not report seeing a UFO 33% 
for fear of losing a job. 


67% 


(1839) 


42% 


58% (445) 


8. No authentic photographs have ever been 46% 
taken of UFOs. 


54% 


(1743) 


34% 


66% (442) 


[[349]] 


Opinion Survey (cont.) 




Adults 






Teen-agers 


ITEM True 


False 


(N) 


True 


False (N) 


9. Persons who believe they have 44% 
communicated with visitors from outer 
space are mentally ill. 


56% 


(1823) 


38% 


62% (444) 


10. The Air Force has been told to explain all 60% 


40% 


(1804) 


60% 


40% (443) 1 



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UFO sightings reported to them as natural 
or man-made happenings or events. 












1 


11. 


Earth has been visited at least once in its 
history by beings from another world. 


28% 


72% 


(1809) 


47% 


53% 


(443) 


12. 


The government should spend more money 
than it does now to study what UFOs are 
and where they come from. 


46% 


54% 


(1815) 


63% 


37% 


(433) 


13. 


Intelligent forms of life cannot exist 
elsewhere in the universe. 


30% 


70% 


(1812) 


22% 


78% 


(434) 


14. 


Flying saucers can be explained 
scientifically without any important new 
discoveries. 


46% 


54% 


(1807) 


35% 


65% 


(429) 


15. 


Some UFOs have landed and left marks in 
the ground. 


41% 


59% 


fA "700\ 

(1783) 


d AO/ 

54% 


46% 


(433) 


[[349a]] 


Opinion Survey (cont.) 








Adults 






Teen-agers 






ITEM 


True 


False 


(N) 


True 


False 


(N) 


16. 


Most UFOs are due to secret defense 
projects, either ours or another country's. 


57% 


43% 


(1798) 


54% 


46% 


(431) 


17. 


UFOs are reported throughout the world. 


87% 


13% 


(1801) 


86% 


14% 


(433) 


18. 


The government has done a good job of 
examining UFO reports. 


71% 


29% 


(1796) 


58% 


42% 


(431) 


19. 


There have never been any UFO sightings 
in Soviet Russia. 


27% 


73% 


(1698) 


26% 


74% 


(433) 


20. 


People want to believe that life exists 
elsewhere than on Earth. 


82% 


18% 


(1813) 


75% 


25% 


(429) 


21. 


There have been good radar reports of 
UFOs. 


62% 


38% 


(1736) 


65% 


35% 


(429) 


22. 


There is no government secrecy about 
UFOs. 


37% 


63% 


(1830) 


31% 


69% 


(431) 


23. 


People have seen space ships that did not 
come from this planet. 


40% 


60% 


(1807) 


61% 


39% 


(430) 


24. 


Some UFO reports have come from 
astronomers. 


67% 


33% 


(1718) 


11% 


23% 


(429) 


25. 


Even the most unusual UFO report could be 
explained by the laws of science if we knew 
enough science 


73% 


27% 


(1818) 


63% 


37% 


(423) 


[[349b]] 


Opinion Survey (cont.) 
















1 



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AAUUILO 


1 cci i-ciyciC5 1 


ITEM True False 


(N) True False (N) 


26. People who do not believe in flying saucers 1 5% 85% 


(1831) 15% 85% (433) 


must be stupid. 




27. UFO reports have not been taken seriously 30% 70% 


(1801) 29% 71% (430) 


by any government agency. 




28. Government secrecy about UFOs is an idea 26% 74% 


(1779) 25% 75% (442) 


made up by the newspapers. 




29. Science has established that there are such 76% 24% 


/HOO^X "700/ 000/ / A A r\\ 

(1824) 78% 22% (440) 


things as "Unidentified Flying Objects." 




[[349c]] 


tend to agree with statements which suggest evidence for the existence of UFOs. However, the use of attitude scales, rather than 


single items, provides a more reliable estimate of opinion and a better basis for making group comparisons regarding a general 


topic. 




Four scales based on the UFO items (see Table 1 6 for scale composition) were employed to determine whether individuals felt that 


UFOs were from outer space, whether they felt there was evidence for the existence of UFOs, whether the government was seen as 


handling the problem adequately, and whether secrecy in this matter was attributable to the government. Any scale score larger than 


.50 is in the direction of acceptance of the scale concept, e.g., evidence exists, secrecy exists, etc., while any score smaller than .50 is 


in the direction of rejection of the scale concept. The farther the score from .50, the stronger the acceptance or rejection. 


Analyses of the findings by scale maybe found inTables 16, 17, and 18. Table 16 presents scale information for the adult and teen 


samples of the national opinion survey. Table 17 provides information on the sighterand nonsighter groups in the adult sample and on 


the sighter sample drawn from project files. The project sighters are unique in that they are all reporting sighters as compared with the 


national sighters, of whom 87% are nonreporters and in their willingness to participate in an opinion survey conducted by mail. 


Because these respondents are essentially self-selected by their willingness to participate in the survey, they may not be assumed to 


be representative of all sighters whose reports are in the case files of the Colorado project. The kind of bias this self-selection might 


introduce in unknown. Table 18 presents the information collected by the project from the college samples. The data on college 


students in the first column exclude students enrolled in the UFO classes. These latter students are represented in the second column. 


Responses of students in UFO classes are interesting because of their exposure to material concerning UFOs and because of their 


high interest in the topic. Rather than attribute differences between this group and any other group to exposure to an UFO course, one 


might 


1 


[[350]] 




Table 16 


1 


Opinion Scale IVIeans and Standard Deviations for 


Adults and Teen-agers, National Opinion Survey 


SCALE 


Adult Sample Teen Sample 


Outer Space 




Mean 


.39 .55 


Standard Deviation 


.31 .31 


N= 


(1659) (437) 


Evidence 




Mean 


.60 .71 


Standard Deviation 


.34 .30 


N= 


(1629) (434) 


Adequacy 




Mean 


.69 .56 


Standard Deviation 


.30 .32 


N= 


(1656) (434) j 



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Secrecy 








Mean 




.70 


.74 


Standard Deviation 




.32 


.29 


N= 




(1631) 


(440) 


[[351]] 






Table 17 




Opinion Scale IVIeans and Standard Deviations for 




Respondents in National Sample and for Sample of 






Sighters from Project Files 










Sighters 


SCALE 


Nonsighters* 


Sighters, Adult Sample Project Sample 


Outer Space 








IVIean 


.40 


.65 


.78 


Standard Deviation 


.31 


.33 


.27 


N = 


1 A '7~7r\\ 

(1770) 


(49) 


(94) 


Evidence 








IVIean 


.59 


.83 


.94 


Standard Deviation 


.34 


.26 


.14 


N = 


(1738) 


(49) 


(94) 


Adequacy 








Mean 


.70 


.45 


.34 


Standard Deviation 


.30 


.36 


.35 


N = 


(1769) 


(49) 


(94) 


Secrecy 








Mean 


.69 


.83 


.89 


Standard Deviation 


.32 


.23 


.21 


N = 


(1741) 


(49) 


(92) 


[[352]] 






Table 18 




Opinion Scale Means and Standard Deviations for 






College Students and College UFO Classes 




SCALE 




College Students * 


UFO Classes 


Outer Space 








Mean 




.55 


.79 


Standard Deviation 




.32 


.26 


N= 




(670) 


(48) 


Evidence 








Mean 




.78 


.85 


Standard Deviation 




.29 


.21 j 



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N= 

Adequacy 

Mean 



(668) 



.51 
.38 
(669) 



(48) 



.24 
.33 
(48) 



Standard Deviation 
N= 



Secrecy 

IVIean 



.88 
.22 
(669) 



.92 
.17 
(48) 



Standard Deviation 
N= 



* Not included are students enrolled in Flying Saucer Classes. 



[[353]] 



assume that these students are essentially self-selected on the basis of their prior attitudes or interest. 

On only two of the scales do the mean scale scores for any group represent views antithetical to those of another. Differences of mean 
opinion on the other two scales represent only differences in degree of acceptance or rejection. 

On the outer space scale, adults tend to respond negatively to the hypothesis that UFOs are extraterrestrial in origin, while teen-agers 
and college students, on the average, are almost neutral, and the two groups of sighters tend to react with greater degrees of 
acceptance of the possibility. 

On the adequacy scale, both adults and teens are inclined to view the government's efforts as adequate. The mean scale value for 
sighters, though of a middle position, leans toward a negative view of the government's adequacy in investigating the UFO problem. 
This finding cannot be explained solely in terms of sighters' first-hand experience with reporting, because most of the sighters in the 
national survey were non-reporters. The mean score of college students falls between those of teen-agers and sighters. 

On the remaining two scales, differences of opinion are merely a matter of degree, with the mean scale scores for all groups in the 
same direction. It would appear that the majority of respondents in all groups feel that there is some evidence for the existence of 
UFOs, with the adults and teen-agers tending to be the most neutral. The adults tend to be the most cautious in their view, with a mean 
close to the midpoint of the scale. Teen-agers tend to give more support to the possibility that evidence for UFOs does exist, and both 
groups of sighters seem nearly certain that evidence does exist. 

A similar pattern is evident for the responses regarding secrecy. All groups to a greater or lesser degree, tend to suspect government 
secrecy with regard to UFOs and UFO reports. 

Differences between adult and teen scores on three of the four scales, the outer space, evidence, and adequacy scales, were found to 
be significant at the .01 level. A f test (McNemar, 1962), modified for the present 



data was used; the sampling error for comparison of survey variable values was estimated, on the basis of sampling tolerances 
provided by ORG, to be approximately 20% greater than under the assumption of simple random sampling, yielding a design factor 
(Kish, 1965) of 1 .20, which was incorporated in the ftest. 

Because these findings are the result of opinion surveys, they do not imply that, for example, evidence or secrecy actually exists. The 
findings only reflect opinions held by the adult, teen, college, and project sighter samples in our surveys, and only the findings for the 
adult and teen samples may be considered indicative of the opinions of adults and teens in the general population. 



CORRELATES OF ATTITUDES 

Our analysis of the 1966 Gallup data suggests that age and education but particularly age, maybe related to opinions regarding 
UFOs and related topics. In the analysis of the Gallup data, it appeared that the younger and the better educated persons are more 
likely to say that flying saucers are "real" and that there are "people somewhat like ourselves living on other planets in the universe." 
The differences between mean scores on four attitude scales for adults and teen-agers from the national opinion survey (Table 1 9) 
once again suggest that age may be a factor in determining attitude. 

Two kinds of analyses of the adult survey sample were undertaken to examine the relationships between age and opinion and 
between education and opinion. In Table 1 9 are the scores for adults on the four scales by age. The younger the age group, the less 
the respondents tend to reject the extra-terrestrial hypothesis, the more inclined they are to believe that there is evidence for UFOs 
and government secrecy about them; younger respondents also tend to be slightly less satisfied with government handling of the "UFO 
problem." 

Findings also related to age have been reported by David R. Deener (1967). In a survey of 1 ,200 persons conducted in New Orleans, 



[[354]] 



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La., he found that 61% of those polled under 25 years of age, 48% of those aged 25 to 29, and 34% of those aged 50 and over felt ' 
that flying saucers are real. When asked if they thought flying saucers come from outer 




[[355]] 










Table 19 










UFO Opinion Scale IVIeans and Standard Deviations 
by Age for Adults National Opinion Survey 




AGE 


Outer Space Evidence 


Adequacy 


Secrecy 


18-29 










Mean 


.48 


.68 


.64 


.77 


Standard Deviation 


.32 


.33 


.OO 


.29 


N = 


(474) 


(473) 


(477) 


(472) 


30-39 










Mean 


.43 


.63 


.68 


.76 


Standard Deviation 


.32 


.34 




.28 


N = 


(369) 


(366) 


(370) 


(366) 


40-49 










Mean 


.39 


.59 


.71 


.69 


Standard Deviation 


.30 


.33 


.oU 


.33 


N = 


(361) 


(357) 


(362) 


(360) 


50-59 










Mean 


.37 


.58 


.73 


.66 


Standard Deviation 


.30 


.32 


97 


.34 


N = 


(290) 


(283) 


(291) 


(286) 


60-69 










Mean 


.32 


.52 


.71 


.58 


Standard Deviation 


.29 


.31 


.30 


.33 


N = 


(190) 


(182) 


(187) 


(182) 


70 and above 










Mean 


.27 


.42 


.77 


.55 


Standard Deviation 


.28 


.33 


.22 


.33 


N = 


(156) 


(146) 


(152) 


(194) 


[[356]] 


space, 47% of those under 25, 27% of those aged 25 to 49, and 19% of those 50 and over answered yes (Times-Picayune, 5 
November 1967). According to Strentz(1967), Eugene J. Webb obtained data in 1966 that indicated that as age increases, the 
proportion of respondents who think UFOs are from some other planet decreases. In that study, a greater proportion of younger that 
older respondents also felt that the government is concealing information about UFOs. 


Patterns are less clear for the analyses by education. Table 20. It does appear, however, that education is related to attitudes 
regarding evidence and secrecy. Better educated individuals feel more strongly that both evidence and secrecy exist. 


Because education and income are frequently examined together as determinants of socio-economic status, family income was 
chosen as an additional variable for the analysis of correlates. Instead of using mean scores for groups, a correlational approach was 
employed. Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficients (McNemar, 1 962) were calculated. It was found that the correlation 
between age and education is -0.37, age and family income, -0.33, and education and family income, +0.45. The correlations of these 



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three demographic variables with the four scales appears in Table 21 . All correlations are significant at the .01 level, except for the 


correlation between family income and the adequacy scale, which is not statistically significant. Of the three demographic variables. 


age is the strongest single predictor of opinion. 








The correlations of the scales with age seem strong enough to warrant some speculations regarding its role in the nature of opinion 


expressed. These findings reflect, perhaps, something interesting about either a) the change of beliefs and attitudes with age, or b) 


the changing nature of beliefs and attitudes. To test the former interpretation would necessitate a prospective study in which the same 


attitudes are assessed at five- or ten-year intervals, using the same respondents. 






In consideration of the marked changes that have taken place in culture and technology during the past 40 years (noting that the oldest 


respondents in the sample were young adults 40 years ago) and particularly during the past 20 years (during which time the youngest 


members of the 














[[357]] 










Table 20 








UFO Opinion Scale Means and Standard Deviations by 






Education for Adults, National Opinion Survey 




EDUCATION 


Outer Space 


Evidence 


Adequacy 


Secrecy 


Less than 8th Grade 










Mean 


.32 


.49 


.73 


.55 


Standard Deviation 


.29 


.32 


.26 


.36 


N= 


(188) 


(177) 


(188) 


(179) 


8th Grade 










Mean 


.33 


.51 


.71 


.60 


Standard Deviation 


.30 


.33 


.27 


.33 


N= 


(200) 


(193) 


(196) 


(189) 


High School Incomplete 










Mean .41 


.58 


.73 


.67 




Standard Deviation 


.31 


.32 


.27 


.31 


N= 


(431) 


(408) 


(416) 


(409) 


High School Completed 










IVIc^all 


.44 


.64 


.68 


. I O 


Standard Deviation 


.32 


.34 


.30 


.30 


N= 


(632) 


(618) 


(621) 


(618) 


College Incomplete 










Mean 


.45 


.64 


.63 


.78 


Standard Deviation 


.32 


.34 


.35 


.30 


N= 


(234) 


(230) 


(235) 


(234) 


College Completed 










Mean 


.38 


.67 


.68 


.80 


Standard Deviation 


.28 


.34 


.33 


.29 


N= 


(221) 


(220) 


(222) 


(220) 


[[358]] 






Table 21 






Correlation of Age, Education and Family Income with UFO Opinion Scales* 




SCALE 


Outer Space 


Evidence 


Adequacy Secrecy 




Age 


-.21 


-.20 


+.13 -.23 


1 



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Education +.08 +.16 -.07 +.23 ' 

Family Income +.10 +.11 -.02 +.18 



* Correlation coefficients are based on the adult sample. 

[[359]] 



sample were growing up and receiving most of their formal education), the second interpretation seems highly tenable. Because the 
younger people have been exposed exclusively or primarily to the "space age," an era of accelerated technological advance and an 
era in which educational objectives have moved from the acquisition of facts to an emphasis on inquiry and problem-solving, it may be 
that age differences for the outer space and the evidence scales may reflect a greater readiness on the part of younger people to 
accept as possible that which has not, at present, been demonstrated. 

At one time flying to the moon was only fantasy; now the plans for the landing of the first manned spacecraft are being completed. In 
addition, not only the scientific community, but the general public are aware of special technical problems, such as those concerning 
"soft landings," and zero gravity conditions of space flight. At the same time, television, a major medium of entertainment and 
information, is able to give the appearance of reality to that which is technologically impossible ~ at least at this time. As a result of 
these and other factors, the younger person may have a greater range of acceptance for "what might be" than the older generation. 

Given the findings of the present study, one might suspect that reactions to various projected or hypothesized social, scientific, and 
technological changes would reveal similar kinds of age and, perhaps, education differences. Such changes might include chemical 
methods to increase the capacity for memory, human hibernation, permanently inhabited undersea colonies, or the major use of 
rockets for commercial transportation ~ all of which have been included among projections for the future (Kahn and wiener, 1 967). The 
major implication of this discussion is that the present findings relating age and education to attitudes regarding UFO phenomena 
may, in large measure, reflect the changing technology and culture. 

Inherent in the above speculations are at least two research questions which may be posed. The first of these concerns formal training 
in the sciences, the second concerns exposure to information Sources. 

[[360]] 



The measure of education used in the present study simply represents years of schooling. If the above interpretations are correct in 
relating attitude to differential exposure to a changing technology and culture by way of age, it should prove interesting to examine 
further attitudes with respect to both the nature of the individual's education and to age. Attitudes of persons trained in the physical 
sciences might be compared with those of comparable levels of education in other fields; the views of older scientists within a 
discipline might be compared with those of the younger. 

The second variable suggested by the present research is differential exposure to information sources. To what extent do age-related 
attitudes reflect differential exposure either to popular or to technical sources of scientific information? For example, do younger 
people have a greater knowledge of the sciences and in particular of recent scientific developments? Is interest in an exposure to 
science fiction predictive of attitudes about conditions not now technologically possible or culturally familiar? Such questions as these 
may clarify the apparent relationships which are suggested by the present findings regarding attitudes toward UFO phenomena. 

Apart from these speculations, there are a number of procedures in the social psychology of UFO phenomena which merit 
consideration for further study, as William A. Scott has pointed out (1968), and which could not be studied by the Colorado Project. 

Scott suggests that, for example, the cognitive correlates of UFO phenomena might be studied in terms of a) the subject's interest in 
and information about UFO phenomena; b) the degree and range of credibility that the subject attaches to reported sightings; c) the 
subject's knowledge of possibly confounding illusions and misinterpretations e.g., atmospheric and astronomical phenomena; d) 
attitudes related to the process of hypothesis testing, the process of considering and rejecting alternative explanations, the rapidity 
with which the subject reaches a conclusion, and the certainty that he attaches to his interpretation; e) the degree of cognitive 
elaboration evidenced when the subject is exposed to a mock-up or experimental UFO. 

[[361]] 



Another area which the limitations of time and funds made it impracticable to study is that concerned with communication processes. 
Among the possible foci of study are the ways in which consensus develops among observers and the effects of communication upon 
that consensus. Still another approach might be the comparison of independent interpretations of the same UFO phenomenon. A 
related area of research might include studies of the effect of publicity on the frequency and nature of reports, the effect of the 
interviewers' (e.g., journalists', researchers') attitudes on the respondents' reports, and the effect of communication between subjects 
on the convergence and clarity of their reports. 

Other suggestions for further studies of UFO phenomena, in the field of social psychiatry, are made by Rhine (Section VI, Chapter 3). 

It is the writer's judgment that, in evaluating the feasibility and desirability of such further studies, their costs, material and non-material, 
need to be weighed against the potential usefulness of the resulting data. The ultimate value of further studies concerning the social 
psychological aspects of UFO phenomena may rest on the generality of the processes studied and the degree to which the research 



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contributes to the advancement of the behavioral and social sciences. 

[[362]] 



9/25/2014 



1 



BACK TO SECTION 3 
BACK TO TOP 

References 

Cronbach, L. J., "Coefficient Alpha and the Internal Structure of Tests," Psychometrika, 1951 , 16, 297-334. 

Ennis, P. H., Criminal Victimization in the United States\Nash\ng{on, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1967a. 

Ennis, P. H., "Crimes, Victims, and the Police," Trans-action, 4, 7, 1967b, 36-44. 

Gallup, G., "Nine out of Ten People Heard of Flying Saucers," Public Opinion A/eiAS Sen/ice, Princeton, N.J., 15 August 1947 

Gallup, G., "Just What ARE Those Flying Saucers ~ A Secret Weapon?" Public Opinion Nem Sen/ice, Princeton, N.J., 20 May 
1950. 

Gallup, G., "More than 5 Million Americans Claim to Have Seen 'Flying Saucers'," Gallup Poll, Princeton, N.J., 8 May 1966. 
Hilgard, E. R., Introduction to Psychology. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1962. 
Kahn, H. and A. J. Wiener. The Year 2000. New York: Macmillan, 1967. 
Kish, L. Sun/ey Sampling. New York: Wiley, 1965. 
McNemar, Q. Psychological Statistics. New York: Wiley, 1962. 

Rotter, J. B., "Generalized Expectancies for Internal versus External Control of Reinforcement" (see Appendix), Psychological 
Monographs, 80, 1 , 1966. 

Scott, W. A., "Measures of Test Homogeneity," Educational and Psychological Measurement, 1960, 20, 751-757. 

Scott, W. A., Unpublished report minutes of the Fourth Meeting of the C.U. UFO-lnvestigators, Boulder, Colorado, 28 October 1966. 

Scott, W. A., Personal Communication, 1968. 

Strentz, H., Personal communication, 1967. 

"Survey of Tula ne Students Reveals Belief in Saucers." Times Picayune, New Orleans: 5 November 1967. 

United States Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Population Estimates, Series P-25, No. 385. Washington, D.C.: 
U.S. Government Printing Office, 14 February 1968. 

[[363]] 
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SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS 



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1 



Volume 2 

[[363]] 



Section IV 
Case Studies 



BACK to Contents 



In this section three kinds of specific cases are presented: 

1 . those of special interest that occurred prior to the commencennent of the Colorado project; 

2. those investigated in the field by project teams; and 

3. those involving the analysis of photographs. 

In most instances, field investigation involved study of the sighting reports and, rarely, of the sighted object; in a few cases, only the 
analysis of purported UFO-related physical evidence was carried out. Information received regarding some older cases was reviewed 
but only when new information made new conclusions possible is it reported as a case. Examples are the 1952 sighting report of W. 
B. Nash and William Fortenberry and the 1954 sighting of J. H. Howard, both of which are discussed in Section III, Chapter 5. The 
renowned 1 952 radar sightings at Washington, D.C., are also discussed in that chapter. Weather data concerning the Washington 
sightings are presented in Appendix L. None of these are presented as case studies in this section. 

Many witnesses were willing to cooperate with the study only on the condition that their names be withheld. Consequently, a uniform 
policy of eliminating the name of the witness or witnesses in all cases has been followed, as their identities are irrelevant to the facts 
understudy. 

The region in which the sighting occurred is designated by its location in the northern or southern half of a time zone. Thus the 
designation "South Pacific" refers to the southern portion of the Pacific time zone. At the request of some of the witnesses to and 
participants in sightings, the names of places and other descriptive data have been changed. These changes have been invariably 
made, however, in such a way that every significant fact has been accurately presented and the case, as a whole, described in all its 
essentials. 



Chapter 1 - Cases Predating the Project 
Chapter 2 - Cases During the Project 
Chapter 3 - Photographic Cases 



[[364]] 



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Case 1 
South Mountain 
Spring 1950 
Investigators: Low, staff 



BACK to Chapter 1 



Abstract: 

A professional meteorologist saw an unidentified object flying beneath clouds. He believed the object to be a powered craft three to 
five feet in diameter. Positive identification cannot be made, although the possibility that the object was common earth debris is 
suggested. 

Background: 

A UFO sighting from the grounds of an Observatory had attracted attention because the observation was made by a professional 
meteorologist who is highly regarded in the scientific community. The meteorologist wrote the following account within an hour of his 
observation: 

I saw the object between 12:15 and 12:20 p.m from the grounds of the Observatory. It was moving from the 

Southeast to the Northwest. It was extremely prominent and showed some size to the naked eye, that is, it was not merely 
a pinpoint. During the last half of its visibility I observed it with 4-power binoculars. At first it looked like a parachute tipped 
at an angle to the vertical, but this same effect could have been produced by a sphere partly illuminated by the sun and 
partly shadowed, or by a disc-shaped object as well. Probably there are still other configurations which would give the 
same impression under proper inclination and 

[[366]] 



illumination. I could see it well enough to be sure it was not an airplane (no propeller or wings were apparent) nor a bird. I 
saw no evidence of exhaust gases nor any markings on the object. 

Most fortunately the object passed between me and a small bright cumulus cloud in the Northwest. Thus it must have been 
at or below the cloud level. A few seconds later it disappeared, apparently into the cloud. 

Against the sky it was very bright but against the cloud it was dark. This could be produced by a grey body which would be 
bright against the relatively dark sky, but dark against the bright cloud. Alternatively, if the object were half in sunlight and 
half shadowed the sunlit part might have had no detectable contrast with the cloud while the shadowed part appeared 
dark. 

I immediately telephoned the U.S. Weather Bureau (2-3 miles S.W. of the Observatory). They were estimating the cloud to 
be 6000 feet above the ground. Now estimates of cloud heights are rather risky, so I obtained their observations of 
temperature and dew point, and from the known lapse rates of these quantities in a convective atmosphere, calculated the 
cloud base to be at 12,000 feet. I believe this latter figure to be the more accurate one because later in the afternoon the 
cumulus clouds thickened but at all times remained well above the tops of our nearby mountains. These are about 6000 
feet above us. 

Thus, having some idea of the object's elevation and its angular diameter through the binoculars (about equivalent to a 
dime seen at 

[[367]] 



50 feet with the naked eye), I calculated its size to be 3 to 5 feet for a height of 6 - 1 2 thousand feet, and a zenith angle of 
about 45o. This size estimate could easily be in error by a factor or two, but I am sure it was a small object. 

The clouds were drifting from the SW to the NE at right angles to the motion of the object. Therefore, it must have been 
powered in some way. I did not time it but for that elevation I would estimate its speed to be about 1 00 miles per hour, 
perhaps as high as 200 m.p.h. This too means a powered craft. However, I could hear no engine noise. 

Investigation: 

The meteorologist who reported this observation was interviewed. He could offer no information beyond his original report written 17 
years earlier. In earlier correspondence with project personnel, however, he furnished copies of letters exchanged in 1961 with 
another interested scientist who suggested alternate explanations of his observation. 

The crucial point in question was the height of the object, coupled with the direction of wind at that elevation. Did the object disappear 



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into a cloud, thus showing it to be at cloud level, or was its abrupt disappearance due to reorientation of the object relative to the 
observer, such as the turning of a sheet of paper edgewise to the observer, or to passage of a reflecting object into the shadow of a 
cloud? In either of the latter cases, the observed object could have been much lower than cloud level in which case its motion could be 
accounted for by winds, and the requirement of self-propulsion would no longer pertain. 

[[368]] 



Loren W. Crow, Certified Consulting Meteorologist, was commissioned to analyze records of weather pertinent to this observation. He 
studied surface weather records, and winds aloft data from this South Mountain area. According to his report, winds were light and 
variable at all stations. He presented a vertical profile of cloudiness and the following evidence of strong vertical mixing. (Crow's Fig 4 
is not included in this excerpt from his report). 

Excerpts have been made from the detailed surface observations at three stations. It is worth noting that at approximately 
12:30 (the observations actually being made prior to this filing time)... [two stations] carried a notation under remarks that 
dust devils were being observed. From the Glossary of Meteorology a dust devil is defined as a well-developed dust whirl. 
The following is a further quotation from that definition. 

...A rapidly rotating column of air over a dry and dusty or sandy area, carrying dust, leaves and other light material picked 
up from the ground. When well developed it is known as a dust devil. Dust whirls form, typically, as the result of strong 
convection during sunny, hot, calm summer afternoons. This type is generally several yards in diameter at the base, 
narrowing for a short distance upward and then expanding again, like two cones ape to apex. Their height varies; normally 
it is only 100 to 300 feet, but in hot desert country they may be as high as 2000 feet... 

[[369]] 



The actual lowering of temperature between 12:30 and 13:30 at... [airport A] indicates that strong vertical mixing took 
place during that hour. It could have started in the vicinity of ... [city A], particularly over the warmer portions of local heat 
absorbing surfaces, a few minutes or an hour earlier. 

The spread between dry bulb and wet bulb temperature was comparable at each of the three stations, indicating that they 
were in the same air mass. This spread was slightly less at the ... [airport A] than at.. . [city B or C]. Super-adiabatic 
temperature lapse rates would have been prevalent near the surface in the late morning hours. 

Surface conditions were quite dry. The most recent rainfall above a trace recorded at both... [city A and airport A] occurred 
on May 4, sixteen days earlier. The amounts received at that time were .34 inch in... [city A] and .35 inch at the airport [A]. 
The maxima temperatures were well above normal for the month on May 20. The maximum of 830 at ... [city C] was the 
first such maximum that had been reached in 1950. A warmer maximum temperature had been recorded on only one day 
previously at... [city A]. 

The vertical wind profiles show only light winds prevailing at the level of the sighting. The direction of air flow at the sighting 
level as indicated by the pressure pattern would have been from the northeast. Velocity would have 

[[370]] 



been less than 1 0 mph and could have been overcome by local convective activity or the influence of any particularly large 
cloud development. 

It is the author's opinion that within the hour prior to the sighting strong vertical mixing of the air in the first 3,000 feet above 
the surface would have been a typical pattern of air motion in the vicinity of the sighting. Horizontal flow of air would have 
been limited to velocities not exceeding 10 mph. Visibility would have been excellent. 

In addition to his report. Crow expressed the opinion that some light, low density material must have been carried aloft by a localized 
dust whirl not too far from the observer. He suggested that at the time of sighting vertical motion no longer was being applied and the 
object was drifting slowly along a nearly horizontal path from NE toward NW. Although the witness reported cloud movement. Crow 
suggests that this observation could have been the result of movement of the object combined with very slight cloud movement, 
producing the impression that the cloud was drifting more than it actually was. A near-deflated child's balloon or a sheet of paper, 
carbon paper, or plastic at an altitude of 1500-3000 ft. could have caused observations similar to those reported. 

Conclusions: 

There is no way to establish the altitude of the reported object. It is not certain that the object was at cloud elevation, for there are other 
acceptable explanations of abrupt disappearance of such an object. Thus, the object may have been much nearer to the observer than 
he assumed, and may have been airborne debris. 

[[371]] 



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Condon Report, Case 2: USAF/RAF Radar Sighting 



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Case 2 
Greenwich 
Summer 1956 
Investigator: Staff 



BACK to Chapter 1 



Abstract: 

At least one UFO was tracked by air traffic control radar (GCA) at two USAF-RAF stations, with apparently corresponding visual 
sightings of round, white rapidly moving objects which changed directions abruptly. Interception by RAF fighter aircraft was attempted; 
one aircraft was vectored to the UFO by GCA radar and the pilot reported airborne radar contact and radar gunlock.. The UFO 
appeared to circle around behind the aircraft and followed it in spite of the pilot's evasive maneuvers. Contact was broken when the 
aircraft returned to base, low on fuel. The preponderance of evidence indicates the possibility of a genuine UFO in this case. The 
weather was generally clear with good visibility. Background: 

The existence of this very interesting radar-visual case was first brought to the attention of the project staff in winter 1 968 by the receipt 
of an unsolicited letter from one of the principal witnesses, a retired USAF non-commissioned officer who was the Watch Supervisor 
at the GCA station on the night in question. This letter is rather well written, it forms the most coherent account of this UFO case, it is 
reproduced below in its entirety. 

Reference your UFO Study: you probably already have this item in your file, but, in case you don't, I will briefly outline it and 
you can contact me for full details if you want them. 

[[372]] 



I retired (20 years service).. .from the USAF. I have placed my name, rank, and serial number at the top of the page if you 
want to check on my authenticity. I was an Air Traffic Controller throughout my service career and utilized radar the last 1 6 
years in the control of Air Traffic. I won't bother listing the types and locations, although I could supply all this if needed. 

In 1956, ...(I can't remember the exact date or month), I was on duty as Watch Supervisor at... [GCA A] in the Radar Air 
Traffic Control Center. It was the 5:00 p.m. to midnight shift. I had either four or five other controllers on my shift. I was 
sitting at the Supervisor's Coordinating desk and received a call on the direct line (actually I'm not sure which line it was). 
Anyway, it was... [GCA B] calling and the radar operator asked me if we had any targets on our scopes traveling at4,000 
mph. They said they had watched a target on their scopes proceed from a point 30 or 40 miles east.. .to a point 40 miles 
west of.. .[GCA Bj. The target passed directly over... [GCA B] RAF Station (also an USAF Station). He said the tower 
reported seeing it go by and it just appeared to be a blurry light. A C-47 flying over the base at 5,000 feet altitude also 
reported seeing it as a blurred light that passed under his aircraft. No report as to actual distance below the aircraft. I 
immediately had all controllers start scanning the radar scopes. I had each scope set on a different range-from 10 miles to 
200 miles radius of... [GCA A]. At this time I did not contact anyone by telephone is I was rather skeptical of this report. We 
were using 

[[373]] 



full MTI on our radar, which eliminated entirely all ground returns and stationary targets. There was very little or no traffic or 
targets on the scopes, as I recall. However one controller noticed a stationary target on the scopes about 20 to 25 miles 
southwest. This was unusual as a stationary target should have been eliminated unless it was moving at a speed of at 
least 40 to 45 knots. And yet we could detect no movement at all. We watched this target on all the different scopes for 
several minutes and I called the GCA Unit at ... [A] to see if they had this target on their scopes also. They confirmed the 
target was on their scope in the same geographical location. As we watched, the stationary target started moving at a 
speed of 400 to 600 mph in a north, northeast direction until it reached a point about 20 miles north northwest of ... [A]. 
There was no slow start or build-up to this speed-it was constant from the second it started to move until it stopped. 

I called and reported all the facts to this point, including... [B] GCA's initial report, to the ...Command Post I also hooked 

in my local AFB Commanding Officer and my Unit (AFCS Communications Squadron) Commander on my switchboard. 
And there could have been others hooked in also that I was not aware of. I repeated all the facts known to this point and 
continued to give a detailed report on the target's movements and location. The target made several changes in location, 

[[374]] 



always in a straight line, always at about 600 mph and always from a standing or stationary point to his next stop at 
constant speed-no build-up in speed at all-these changes in location varied from 8 miles to 20 miles in length-no set 
pattern at anytime. Time spent stationary between movements also varied from 3 or 4 minutes to 5 or 6 minutes (possibly 



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even longer as I was busy answering questions-listening to theories, guesses, etc. that the conference line people were ' 
saying). This continued for some time. After I imagine about 30 to 45 minutes, it was decided to scramble two RAF 
interceptors to investigate. This was done I believe by Air Force calling the RAF and, after hearing what the score was, 
they scrambled one aircraft. (The second got off after as I will mention later.) 

The interceptor aircraft took off from an RAF Station.. .and approached... [A] from the southwest. Radio and radar contact 
was established with the RAF intercept aircraft at a point about 30 to 35 miles southwest.. .[and] inbound to. ..[A]. On initial 
contact we gave the interceptor pilot all the background information on the UFO, his (the interceptor's) present distance 
and bearing from... [A], the UFO's (which was stationary at the time) distance and bearing from... [A]. We explained we did 
not know the altitude of the UFO but we could assume his altitude was above 15,000 feet and below 20,000 feet, due to 
the operational 

[[375]] 



characteristics of the radar (CPS-5 type radar, I believe). Also we mentioned the report from the C-47 over . . . [B] that 
relayed the story about the light which passed below him. His altitude was 5,000 feet. 

We immediately issued headings to the interceptor to guide him to the UFO. The UFO remained stationary throughout. 
This vectoring of the intercept aircraft continued. We continually gave the intercept aircraft his heading to the UFO and his 
distance from the UFO at approximately 1 to 2 mile intervals. Shortly after we told the intercept aircraft he was one-half 
mile from the UFO and it was twelve-o'clock from his position, he said, "Roger, ...I've got my guns locked on him." Then he 
paused and said, "Where did he go? Do you still have him?" We replied, "Roger, it appeared he got behind you and he's 
still there." [There were now two targets; one behind the other, same speed, very close, but two separate distinct targets.] 

The first movement by the UFO was so swift (circling behind the interceptor); I missed it entirely, but it was seen by the 
other controllers. However, the fact that this had occurred was confirmed bythe pilot of the interceptor. The pilot of the 
interceptor told us he would try to shake the UFO and would try it again. He tried everything~he climbed, dived, circled, etc. 
but the UFO acted like it was glued right behind him, always the same distance, very close, but we always had two distinct 
targets. [Note: Target resolution on our radar at the range they were from the antenna (about 10 to 30 miles, all in the 
southerly sectors from... [A]) 

[[376]] 



would be between 200 and 600 feet probably. Closer than that we would have got one target from both aircraft and UFO. 
Most specifications say 500 feet is the minimum, but I believe it varies and 200 to 600 feet is closer to the truth and, in 
addition, the tuning of the equipment, atmospheric conditions, etc., also help determine this figure.] 

The interceptor pilot continued to try and shake the UFO for about ten minutes (approximate ~ it seemed longer both to 
him and us). He continued to comment occasionally and we could tell from the tonal quality he was getting worried, excited 
and also pretty scared. 

He finally said, "I'm returning to Station, [A]. Let me know if he follows me. I'm getting low on petrol." The target (UFO) 

followed him only a short distance, as he headed south southwest, and the UFO stopped and remained stationary. We 
advised the interceptor that the UFO target had stopped following and was now stationary about 1 0 miles south of.. .[A] He 
rogered this message and almost immediately the second interceptor called us on the same frequency. We replied and 
told him we would advise him when we had a radar target, so we could establish radar contact with his aircraft. (He was 
not on radar at this time, probably had just taken off and was too low for us to pick him up, or too far away~we had most of 
the scopes on short range, so we could watch the UFO closely on the smaller range.) The number two interceptor called 
the number one interceptor by name (Tom, Frank-whatever his name was) and asked him, "Did you see anything?" 
Number one replied, 

[[377]] 



"I saw something, but I'll be damned if I know what it was." Number two said, "What happened?" Number one said, "He (or 
it) got behind me and I did everything I could to get behind him and I couldn't. It's the damnedest thing I've ever seen." 
Number one also made a remark at this time to number two, that he had his radar locked on whatever it was for just a few 
seconds so there was something there that was solid. Number one then switched frequencies to his home base frequency. 
We gave number two the location of the UFO and advised him that we still didn't have him on radar, but probably would 

have shortly. He delayed answering for some seconds and then finally said, . . . [A] (Identification aircraft call 

sign)-can't remember what call sign these aircraft were using. Returning home, my engine is malfunctioning." He then left 
our frequency. 

Throughout this we kept all the agencies, ... advised on every aspect, every word that was said, everything. 

We then inquired what action they wanted to take. They had no more suggestions and finally they told us to just keep 
watching the target and let them know if anything else happened. The target made a couple more short moves, then left our 
radar coverage in a northerly direction - speed still about 600 mph. We lost target outbound to the north at about 50 to 60 
miles, which is normal if aircraft or target is at an altitude below 5,000 feet (because of the radiation lobe of that type 



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Condon Report, Case 2: USAF/RAF Radar Sighting 9/25/2014 

radar). We notified ... Air Division Command Post and they said they'd tell everybody for us. ^ 

[[378]] 



I made out a written report on all this, in detail for the officers in charge of my facility, and was told that unless I was 
contacted later for further information, he would take care of it. I don't know if a CERVIS report was submitted on this or 
not-! heard no more about it. 

All speeds in this report were calculated speeds based on time and distance covered on radar. This speed was 
calculated many times that evening and although this happened quite awhile ago, the basic elements are correct. 

Fig. 1 shows a map of the contact as drawn by the witness. 

Investigation: 

Since this case was discovered so late in the project, investigation was limited to a follow-up request for additional information from 
Project Blue Book, and analysis of the available details of the case by investigators familiar with radar and optical propagation 
anomalies. 

Copies of the Project Blue Book files on the case were received in late August of 1968. A considerable amount of this material is 
reproduced below. One of the interesting aspects of this case is the remarkable accuracy of the account of the witness as given in the 
letter reproduced above, which was apparently written from memory 12 yr. after the incident. There are a number of minor 
discrepancies, mostly a matter of figures (the C-47 at 5,000 ft. was evidently actually at 4,000 ft.), and he seems to have confused the 
identity of location C with B; however, all of the major details of his account seem to be well confirmed by the Blue Book account. 

There were ancillary sightings at . . . [C] besides those which instigated the UFO search by the ... [A] GCA Unit but as subsequent 
airborne intercept attempts yielded neither radar nor visual contact, these accounts are not detailed below. 

[[379]] 




Figure 1: USAF/RAF Radar Sighting 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[380]] 



At 22557, ...[C] GCA sighted object thirty miles east of station traveling westerly at 2000-4000 mph. Object disappeared 
on scope two miles east of station and immediately appeared on scope three miles west of station where it disappeared 
thirty miles west of station on scope. Tower personnel at .... [C] reported to GCA a bright light passed over the field east to 
west at terrific speed and at about 4000 feet alt. At same time pilot in aircraft at 4000 feet alt. over.... [C] reported a bright 
light streaked under his aircraft traveling east to west at terrific speed. At this time.... [C] GCA checked with RAF station.... 
[A] GCA to determine if unusual sightings were occurring ....[A] GCA alerted [the] AAA stationed at ....[A] and ....[B] GCA to 
watch for unusual targets. Following info is the observations made by this station radar, tower and ground personnel 
placed in format required by AFR 2000-2: 1 . Description of object(s): (A) Round white lights (B) One observer from ground 
stated on first observation object was about size of golf ball. As object continued inflight it became a "pin point." (C) Color 
was white. (D) Two from ground observation undetermined number of blips appearing and disappearing on radar scopes. 
(E) No formation as far as radar sightings concerned. Ground observers stated one white light joined up with another and 
both disappeared in formation together. (F) No features or details other then the white light. (C) Objects as seen by ground 
observers and GCA radar have feature of 



[[381]] 



traveling at terrific speeds and then stopping and changing course immediately. 2. Description of course of objects: (A) 
Ground observers looked at sky and saw the object(s). RAF Station .... [Al GCA was alerted by .... [C] GCA to be on 
lookout for unusual targets. (B) Ground observers estimated objects were 20-2500 feet alt and were on a SW heading. 
Object stopped and immediately assumed an easterly heading. RAF Station .... [A] GCA and Air Traffic Control Center 



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reports radar tracking from 6 miles west to about twenty miles SW where target stopped and assumed a stationary 
position for five minutes. Target then assumed a heading north westerly into the Station and stopped two miles NW of 

Station [Al GCA reports three to four additional targets were doing the same. Radars reported these facts to occur at 

later hours than the ground observers. (C) Ground observers report no change in alt and objects disappeared on easterly 
heading. Radar sets stated no definite disappearance factors other than targets disappeared from scopes at approx 
0330 GMT Aug 14. (D) Flight path was straight but jerky with object stopping instantly and then continuing. Maneuvers 
were of same pattern except one object was observed to "lock on" to fighter scrambled by RAF and followed all 
maneuvers of the jet fighter aircraft. In addition, ....[A] Radar Air Traffic Control Center observed object 17 miles east of 
Station making sharp rectangular course of flight. This maneuver was not conducted by circular path but on right 

[[382]] 



angles at speeds of 600-800 mph. Object would stop and start with amazing rapidity. (B) Objects simply disappeared. (F) 
Objects were observed intermittently by RAF Station.. ..[A] radars from 140310 to 140330. 3. Manner of observation: (A) 
Ground-visual, air-electronic and ground-electronic. Ground-electronic equipment was TS-ID, CPS 5, and CPN4 radars. 
Air-electronic was A-l airborne radar equipment in ....jet aircraft. Type of aircraft. Venom, operating out of RAF Station 

4. Time and date of sighting: (A) Summer 1 400 10Z through 140330Z. (B) Night (sky clear and nin/th of clouds-moonlight). 

5. Location of observers RAF Station .... [A] 52o24'N 0o33'E. 6. Weather and winds-aloft conditions at time and place of 
sightings: (A) Clear sky until 0300Z shortly thereafter scattered clouds at 3500 ft. (B) From midnight until 0600Z surface 
wind was 230 deg at 1 5 knots; 6000 ft 290 deg at 24 knots; 1 000 ft 290 deg at 35 knots; 1 6,000 ft 290 deg at 45 knots; 
20,000 ft 290 deg at 53 knots; 30,000 ft 290 deg at 62 knots; 50,000 ft 290 deg at 75 knots. (C) Ceiling unlimited. (D) 
Visibility from OOOIZto 04000Zwas 10 nautical miles. (F) 1/10 of sky covered at 0300Z. 8. Ground observers report 
unusual amount of shooting stars in sky. Further state the objects seen were definitely not shooting stars as there were no 
trails behind as are usual with such sightings. 9. Interception was undertaken by one British jet fighter on alert by.... [A] 
sector control. Aircraft is believed to have been a Venom. The aircraft flew over RAF Station 

[[383]] 



....[A] and was vectored toward a target on radar 6 miles east of the field. Pilot advised he had a bright white light in sight 

and would investigate. At thirteen miles west he reported loss of target and white light [All RATCC vectored him to a 

target 10 miles east of .. ..[A]and pilot advised target was on radar and he was "locking on." Pilot reported he had lost 

target on his radar [A] RATCC reports that as the Venom passed the target on radar, the target began a tail chase of 

the friendly fighter. RATCC requested pilot acknowledge this chase. Pilot acknowledged and stated he would try to circle 
and get behind the target. Pilot advised he was unable to "shake" the target off his tail and requested assistance. One 
additional Venom was scrambled from the RAF Station. Original pilot stated; "clearest target I have ever seen on radar." 
Target disappeared and second aircraft did not establish contact. First aircraft returned to home Station due to being low 
on fuel. Second Venom was vectored to other radar targets but was unable to make contact. Shortly aftenA/ards, second 
fighter returned to home Station due to malfunctions. No further interception activities were undertaken. All targets 
disappeared from scopes at approximately 0330Z. 1 0. Other aircraft in the area were properly identified by radar and 
flight logs as being friendly. All personnel interviewed and logs of RATCC lend reality to the existence of some 
unexplainable flying phenomena near this air field on this occasion. Not an Air Base; however, the controllers are 

[[384]] 



experienced and technical skills were used in attempts to determine just what the objects were. When the target would 
stop on the scope. The MTI was used. However, the target would still appear on the scope. All ground observers and 
reports from observers at ....[C] agree on color. Maneuvers and shape of object. My analysis of the sightings is that they 
were real and not figments of the imagination. The fact that three radar sets picked up the targets simultaneously is 
certainly conclusive that a target or object was in the air. The maneuvers of the object were extraordinary; however, the fact 
that radar and ground visual observations were made on its rapid acceleration and abrupt stops certainly lend credence to 
the report. It is not believed these sightings were of any meteorological or astronomical origin. 

The material on the .... [C] sightings given at the beginning of the preceding account is typical; three other radar targets tracked by that 
station behaved in a similar manner and intercept attempts made from 2130 to 2215 GMT by an American T-33 jet aircraft were 
fruitless. 

An analysis of this case from the viewpoint of possible anomalous propagation was made and appears in Chapter 7. 
Conclusions: 

In view of the multiple radar sightings involved in this case, any conventional explanation for the occurrences reported would seem to 
require some sort of radar anomalous propagation. As pointed out in Chapter 7, the evidence for anomalous propagation in this case 
is rather uncertain. The temporary disappearance of the target as it appeared to overfly the ....[C] GCA is quite suggestive of 
anomalous propagation. The generally clear weather was conducive 

[[385]] 



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to the formation of the atmospheric stratification that causes anomalous propagation, although it by no means follows that such 
formation would have actually occurred. In this connection, the apparent near-coincidence between the appearance of broken clouds 
(0330 GMT) and the disappearance of the radar targets (0330 GMT) could be significant. 



On the other side must be balanced the generally continuous and consistent movements of the radar tracks reported by . . .[A], which 
are not at all typical of radar false targets caused by anomalous propagation. In addition, some of the maneuvers reported in the radar 
controller's letter to have been executed by the UFO are extremely unlikely to be duplicated by a false target, in particular stopping and 
assuming a new path after following the intercepting aircraft for some time. The comments of the Air Force officer who prepared the 
UFO message reproduced earlier are also significant. 

In an early Air Force investigation it was suggested that the visual sightings might have been caused by the Perseid meteors. 
However, as Air Force Consultant Dr. Hynek pointed out: 

It seems highly unlikely, for instance, that the Perseid meteors could have been the cause of the sightings, especially in 
view of the statement of observers that shooting stars were exceptionally numerous that evening, thus implying that they 
were able to distinguish the two phenomena. Further, if any credence can be given to the maneuvers of the objects as 
sighted visually and by radar, the meteor hypothesis must be ruled out. 

Dr. Hynek also remarked: 

The statement that radars reported these facts to occur at later hours than the ground observers' needs clarification 
inasmuch as it 

[[386]] 



contradicts other portions of the report which indicate that at least at certain times visual and radar sightings were 
simultaneous. 

In retrospect it appears that what the statement in question may have been meant to imply was that the radars continued to report 
target(s) after visual contact had been lost; the statement does not necessarily imply that no simultaneous radar-visual sightings 
occurred. 

In conclusion, although conventional or natural explanations certainly cannot be ruled out, the probability of such seems low in this case 
and the probability that at least one genuine UFO was involved appears to be fairly high. 

[[387]] 



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WEST 



NORTH 

50 MILES 




EAST 

SCULTHORPE 



NTERCEPT POINT 



SOUTH 

• FIRST SIGHTING ON RADAR 

• FIRST MOVEMENT AND STOPPING PLACE 

SEEN ON RADAR 

® INTERCEPT POINT BY RAF INTERCEPTOR - POINT ALSO 
AT WHICH RAF PILOT REPORTED RADAR GUNSIGHT 
LOCKED ON UFO 



Figure 1 

USAF/RAF Radar Sightings & Intercept, 1956 



J 



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Condon Report, Case 3: Material Deposit from UFO ID'd as Radar Chaff 



9/25/2014 



Case 3 
South Pacific 
Winter 1957 

Investigators: Hauser Research and Engineering Co. 



BACK to Chapter 1 



Abstract: 

Material which reportedly had dropped from a spaceship was found to be radar chaff dipoles manufactured by Revere Copper and 
Brass, Inc., Brooklyn, N. Y. 

Background: 

The Colorado Project received a sample of metallic material, in the form of short pieces of narrow ribbon which was asserted to be 
material from a spaceship. A nested pile of the material reportedly was found in the front of the home of the witnesses who had 
observed "two space ships" overhead 24 hr. previously. 

The sample was not radioactive when received by the Project, but was said to have been highly radioactive when it fell in the Winter of 
1957. The sample was accompanied by an analytical report from a laboratory near the area of the sighting. This report stated that the 
composition of the material differed from material used as radar "chaff," although aluminum was the main constituent. Investigation: 

The material was sent to the Hauser Research and Engineering Company, Boulder, Col., for analysis and identification. 
Spectrographic analyses indicated a composition similar to that of radar "chaff," i.e.: aluminum foil coated with lead powder. The 
Hauser Company sent small samples of this material to major manufacturers of radar "chaff." Among their responses was the 
following, from Mr. V. B. Lane, Director of Technical Research, Foil Division, Revere Copper and Brass, Inc. 

[[388]] 



The chaff dipoles sent to us in your letter of 21 June 1 967 were manufactured by this company. 

The material is 1 145 alloy hard aluminum foil with both a slip and a stripe coating applied to the surface of the foil. The 
stripe coating consists of lead powder suspended in Kerstyn lacquer. The slip coating is basically atomized AcruanxC 
suspended in a lacquer. Identification is possible since the slip coating was color coded, (red for Revere and, I believe, 
blue for Reynolds and green for Anaconda). 

Generally speaking, the slip coat was last used in the fabrication of chaff units RR 39/AL and RR 44/AL. Your sample 
dipoles (tuned to S-band) could have come from either unit. These units were last produced in 1955-56 although a 
considerable supply was reworked in 1961-63. Since that time occasional small lots have been produced for test 
purposes. It is possible that some of this material was dropped by aircraft. 

However, associating the chaff with a reported sighting of a UFO leads us to suspect another source. The chaff in question 
has been and is being used as a payload for sounding rockets and balloons. These devices are used to carry the chaff 
payload up to high altitudes and then the material is released for radar tracking. In some balloon devices, the chaff dipoles 
are supposed to remain within the balloon but occasionally they fall free. 

Quite a few agencies employ these devices among them Sandia Corp., Albuquerque, New Mexico and Dewey-Almy 
Chemical Corp., Cambridge, Mass. Perhaps they 

[[389]] 



can associate a sounding device launch with the time of your reported sighting. 

We can assure you, however, that the chaff in question was manufactured in Brooklyn, New York, USA and not in some 
remote corner of the galaxy. 

Conclusion: 

The material consisted of radar chaff dipoles manufactured by Revere Copper and Brass, Inc. 

[[390]] 



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Condon Report, Case 4: Magnesium Fragment 



9/25/2014 



Case 4 



Greenwich +3 



Fall 1957 



Investigator: Craig 



BACK to Chapter 1 



Abstract: 



A small piece of corroded magnesium metal, widely acclaimed as a fragment from an alien vehicle which exploded over a beach in 
Greenwich +3, was analyzed. The analysis disproved claims that the material was of greater purity than earthly metallurgical 
technology was capable of in 1957. Claims of extraterrestrial origin of the magnesium are thus based solely upon hearsay information 
which was never authenticated. 



UFO writings commonly refer to pieces of ultra-pure magnesium which reportedly were once part of an alien vehicle which exploded 
over a beach in Greenwich +3 in 1957. According to the accounts, the claim of alien origin was supported by the fact that the 
magnesium was of a higher purity than human technology was then capable of producing; therefore, the material must have come from 
another culture. These claims are developed in great detail in The Great Flying Saucer Hoax by Coral E. Lorenzen (1962). Mr. and 
Mrs. Lorenzen generously offered their magnesium samples to us for analysis. 

The story of the origin of the samples had not been authenticated. A newspaper item, written by a society columnist, presented a letter 
which the columnist allegedly received, along with fragments of metal, from an "admirer" who could not be identified because his 
signature was illegible. The letter identified its writer as a fisherman who saw a flying disc approach the beach at unbelievable speed, 
turn sharply and explode. The disc reportedly disintegrated into thousands of burning fragments, some of which fell into shallow water, 
where they 



were recovered by the fisherman, who said that some of these fragments accompanied the letter. 

The fisherman has never been located or identified, and it has not been established that the columnist actually received the letter from 
a third party. 

An interested civilian obtained the metal from the columnist, and, according to his account, took it to the Mineral Production 
Laboratory of the Agriculture Ministry of the country, where analysis showed it to be magnesium of greater purity than human 
technology could produce. 



It was impossible to verify any relationship between the magnesium fragments and an UFO sighting. However, the degree of purity of 
the magnesium could be determined and since great weight has been given to the claim that the metal was of phenomenal purity, the 
project decided to have the Lorenzen sample analyzed. 

Purified magnesium normally contains few impurities in sufficient quantity for detection by emission spectroscopy. An indication of the 
degree of purity attainable by known technology prior to 1957 was contained in a report of analysis (dated 23 May 1951) of 
magnesium which had been purified by eight successive sublimations. The analytic information furnished by Dr. R. S. Busk, Research 
Direc- tor. Metal Products Department, Dow Chemical Company, showed only Al, Zn, Ca, and Na present in detectable quantities as 
listed below, and given in parts per million of the sample. All other elements shown in the report were not present in quantities 
sufficient to be the symbol < merely indicate the limits of detectabilityfor each element by the analytical method used. 



Background: 



[[391]] 



Investigation: 



[[392]] 



Table 



PPM 



PPM 



Al 
Cu 
Fe 
Mn 
Ni 



2 
<10 
<4 
<2 
<4 



Sn 
Zn 
Ba 
Ca 
K 



<10 

2 
<1 

8 

<5 



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Condon Report, Case 4: Magnesium Fragment 9/25/2014 

Pb <5 Na 3 ' 

Si <10 Sr <5 

Dr. Busk informed us tliat his company lias supplied samples of sublimed magnesium on request for at least 25 yr., and sent us a 
sample of triply-sublimed magnesium for purity comparison with the specimen. 

Since we assumed we would be looking for extremely small quantities of impurity in the samples, we chose to analyze the two 
samples by neutron activation, the most sensitive analytical method currently available. The work was done by the Research and 
Methods Evaluation Group, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division, Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of Mr. Maynard J. Pro. 
The neutron irradiation and subsequent gamma spectrometry were observed by the project investigator and original analytical data 
are retained in project files. Results of neutron activation analysis showed the impurities listed below, given in parts of impurity per 
million parts of sample (PPM). Elements shown as N.D. (not detectable) were not present in sufficient quantity for detection. Limits of 
error in all cases are based upon most extreme estimates of analytical error, and the uncertainty indicated probably is overly 
generous. Figures for the first five elements shown were obtained by direct gamma spectrometry after neutron activation. Cu, Ba, and 
Sr values were obtained by gamma spectrometry after radiochemical separation of the elements. It is obvious from these results that 
the magnesium is not nearly so pure as the Dow product. 

[[393]] 



Table 



Dow Mg UFO Mg 



Mn 


4.8 ±0.5 


35.0 ± 5. 


Al 


N. D. (<5) 


N. D.(<10) 


Zn 


5.±1. 


500. ± 100. 


Hg 


2.6 ±0.5 


N.D. 


Cr 


5.9 ± 1.2 


32.0 ± 10. 


Cu 


0.4 ± 0.2 


3.3 ± 1.0 


Ba 


N. D. 


160. ±20. 


Sr 


N. D. 


500. ± 100. 



For the neutron activation analysis, a small portion of the sample was broken off, and leached in HCI solution to remove surface 
impurities. After washing, this portion (which then had a bright metallic surface) was analyzed. The absence of CI in the post- 
irradiation gamma spectrum showed both that CI was not present in the sample itself and that washing of the leached sample was 
complete. 

The quantity of Mg27 isotope produced by neutron activation of Mg26 was also measured. This measurement showed that the 
magnesium isotopic ratio in the sample did not differ significantly from that of other natural magnesium samples. 

While the sample proved not to be especially pure, the relatively high strontium concentration was particularly interesting, since Sr is 
not an expected impurity in magnesium. Dr. Busk knew of no one who intentionally added Sr to commercial Mg. Additional work was 
therefore undertaken to determine if the sample, while not pure, might nonetheless be unique. The additional analytical work consisted 
of microprobe analysis and metallographic examination, and was done by Dr. Busk's staff at the Dow Metallurgical Laboratory. Again, 
the work was monitored by the project investigator. 

[[394]] 



Dr. D. R. Beaman's report of this work states: 

The electron microprobe analysis of the Mg-UFO revealed that Sr and Zn were present in extremely low concentrations 
and were not present in detectable localized regions of high concentrations. This does not preclude the possibility of a fine 
dispersion of precipitates. The metallographic examination of the clean matrix (negative numbers 64486-64499) by H. 
Diehl coupled with the probe results and the known solubilities of Sr and Zn in Mg suggests that these elements are 
present in solid solution. 

Metallographic examination showed large, elongated magnesium grains, indicating that the metal had not been worked after 
solidification from the liquid or vapor state. The grain structure was thus not consistent with an assumption that the sample had been 
part of a fabricated metal object. Rapid quenching of a melted fragment was not indicated. 

Since the strontium apparently had been added intentionally during manufacture of the material from which the sample came, Dow 
Metallurgical Laboratory records were checked to see if such material had been produced in the past by that particular laboratory. The 
records revealed that, over the years, experimental batches of magnesium alloy containing from 0.1% Srto 40% Srwere produced. 
As early as 25 March 1940, the laboratory produced a 700 gm. batch of magnesium containing nominally the same concentration of 
Sr as was contained in the sample. 

Conclusion: 



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Since only a few grams of the magnesium are known to exist, and these could easily have been produced prior to 1957 by common 
earthly technology, the composition and metallographic characteristics of these samples themselves reveal no information 

[[395]] 



about their origin. The mere existence of these samples cannot serve to support an argument that they are fragments from material of 
extraterrestrial origin. 

Since none of the additional information about this case in other than hearsay, it is not possible to establish any relationship between 
the small pieces of magnesium and a "flying disc." 

[[396]] 



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Condon Report, Case 5: B-47 Crew, Radar/Visual Sighting 



9/25/2014 



Case 5 
South Central 
Fall 1957 
Investigator: Craig 



BACK to Chapter 1 



Abstract: 

The crew of a B-47 aircraft described an encounter with a large ball of light which was also displayed for a sustained time for both 
airborne radar monitoring receivers and on ground radar units. The encounter had occurred ten years prior to this study. Project Blue 
Book had no record of it. Attempts to locate any records of the event, in an effort to learn the identity of the encountered phenomenon, 
failed to produce any information. The phenomenon remains unidentified. 

Background: 

At a project-sponsored conference for air base UFO officers, held in Boulder in June 1967, one of the officers revealed that he 
personally had experienced a puzzling UFO encounter some ten years previously. According to the officer, a Major at the time of the 
encounter, he was piloting a B-47 on a gunnery and electronic counter-measures training mission from an AFB. The mission had 
taken the crew over the gulf of Mexico, and back over South Central United States where they encountered a glowing source of both 
visual and 2,800 mHz. electromagnetic radiation of startling intensity, which, during part of the encounter, held a constant position 
relative to the B-47 for an extended period. Ground flight control radar also received a return from the "object," and reported its range 
to the B-47 crew, at a position in agreement with radar and visual observations from the aircraft. 

According to the officer, upon return to the AFB electronic counter-measures, graphic data, and radar scope pictures which had been 
taken during the flight were removed from the plane by Intelligence personnel. He recalled that an Intelligence questionnaire regarding 
the experience had later been completed by the B-47 crew; however, the "security lid" 

[[397]] 



shut off further information regarding the encounter. The crew learned nothing more regarding the incident, and the pilot occasionally 
had wondered about the identity of the phenomena encountered ever since his experience. 

Investigation: 

When no report of this incident was found in Blue Book or Air Defense Command records, this project undertook to obtain leads to the 
location of data recorded during the event through detailed interview of all available members of the B-47 crew. Of the six crew 
members, the three most closely involved in the encounter were the pilot, co-pilot, and the officer who had been in charge of the most 
involved radar-monitoring unit. 

Details of the encounter, as best they could be recalled, were obtained by interview with the pilot and, later, with the two other officers 
at another air base. A1 1 remained deeply impressed by the experience, and were surprised that a reportof it was not part of Blue 
Book files. Their descriptions of the experience were generally consistent, although the pilot did not mention that the navigator also 
had received a radar return from the object in question, as was recalled by the other officers. (The navigator, on duty in Vietnam, was 
not available for interview). The two other crew members, each of whom had operated a radar monitoring unit in the B-47 during the 
UFO event, were involved to a lesser extent in the incident, and were not located for interview. 

The crew's description of the experience follows: 



Time: 


Early morning. Fall 1957. 


Place: 


Over South Central United States 


Plane's altitude: 


About 30,000 ft. during the first part of the encounter. 


Nature of Mission: 


(Pilot): Combined navigation, gunnery, and electronic counter- 




measure training mission. 



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[[398]] 



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1 



(Other Crew): Check-out of plane and equipment, including 
electronic counter-measures equipment, prior to European 
assignment. 



Weather: Witnesses recalled seeing, from 30,000 ft. altitude, lights of cities 

and burn-off flames at gas and oil refineries below. They have no 
recollection of other than clear weather. 



Radar monitoring unit number two, in the back end of the B-47, picked up a strong signal, at a frequency of about 2,800 mHz., which 
moved up-scope while the plane was in straight flight. (A signal from a ground station necessarily moves down-scope under these 
conditions, because of fonA/ard motion of the airplane). This was noted, but not reported immediately to the rest of the crew. The 
officer operating this unit suspected equipment malfunction, and switched to a different monitoring frequency range. The pilot saw a 
white light ahead and warned the crew to be prepared for a sudden maneuver. Before any evasive action could be taken, the light 
crossed infront of the plane, moving to the right, at a velocity far higher than airplane speeds. The light was seen by pilot and co-pilot, 
and appeared to the pilot to be a glowing body as big as a barn. The light disappeared visually, but number two monitor was returned 
to the frequency at which the signal was noted a few moments earlier and again showed a target, now holding at the "two-o'clock" 
position. The pilot varied the plane's speed, but the radar source stayed at two o'clock. The pilot then requested and received 
permission to switch to ground interceptor control radar and check out the unidentified companion. Ground Control in the area 
informed the pilot that both his plane and the other target showed on their radar, the other target holding a range often miles from him. 

[[399]] 



After the UFO had held the two o'clock position and ten-mile range through various test changes in aircraft speed, the number two 
monitoring officer informed the pilot that the target was starting to move up-scope. It moved to a position dead ahead of the plane, 
holding a ten-mile range, and again became visible to the eye as a huge, steady, red glow. The pilot went to maximum speed. The 
target appeared to stop, and as the plane got close to it and flew over it, the target disappeared from visual observation, from monitor 
number two, and from ground radar. (The operator of monitor number two also recalled the B-47 navigator's having this target on his 
radar, and the target's disappearing from his radar scope at the same time). The pilot began to turn back. About half way around the 
turn, the target reappeared on both the monitor and ground radar scopes and visually at an estimated altitude of 15,000 ft. The pilot 
received permission from Ground Control to change altitude, and dove the plane at the target, which appeared stationary. As the 
plane approached to an estimated distance of five miles the target vanished again from both visual observation and radar. Limited 
fuel caused the pilot to abandon the chase at this point and head for his base. As the pilot leveled off at 20,000 ft. a target again 
appeared on number two monitor, this time behind the B-47. The officer operating the number two monitoring unit, however, believes 
that he may have been picking up the ground radar signal at this point. The signal faded out as the B-47 continued flight. 

The co-pilot and number two monitoring officer were most impressed by the sudden disappearance of the target and its 
reappearance at a new location. As they recalled the event, the target could be tracked part of the time on the radar monitoring 
screen, as described above, but, at least once, disappeared from the right side of the plane, appeared on their left, then suddenly on 
their right again, with no "trail" on the radar scope to indicate movement of the target between successive positions. 

The monitoring officer recalled that the navigator, who reported receiving his own transmitted radar signals reflected from the target, 
not only had a target on his screen, but reported target bearings which 

[[400]] 



coincided exactly with the bearings to the source on the monitoring scope. He also indicated that the officer Operating the number one 
radar monitoring unit, which was of a different type, having a fixed APD-4 antenna instead of a spinning antenna as used with the 
number two unit, and covering all radar ranges, also observed the same display he observed on unit two. The sixth crew member, 
operating number three radar monitor, which covered a lower frequency range, was searching for something to tie in with the signals 
being observed on the other scopes, but found nothing. 

The following questions are raised by this information: 

1 . Could the number two monitoring unit have received either direct or reflected ground radar signals which had no relation to the 
visual sighting? 

The fact that the frequency received on number two, about 2,800 mHz., was one of the frequencies emitted from ground radar 
stations (CPS6B type antennas) at an airport and other airports nearby, makes one suspect this possibility. The number two 
monitoring officer felt that after the B-47 arrived over South Central U. S., signals from GCA sets were received, and this 
confused the question of whether an unidentified source which emitted or reflected this wave length was present. On original 



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Condon Report, Case 5: B-47 Crew, Radar/Visual Sighting 9/25/2014 

approach to the area, however, a direct ground signal could not have moved up-scope. Up-scope movement could not have ' 
been due to broken rotor leads or other equipment malfunction, for all other ground signals observed that night moved down- 
scope. A reflected signal would require a moving reflector in the region serving as apparent source, the movement being 
coordinated with the motion of the aircraft, particularly during periods when the UFO held constant position relative to the moving 
aircraft. Since the monitor scans 360o, if a reflected beam were displayed on the scope, the direct radar beam also would be 
displayed, unless the transmitter were below the horizon. As the event was recalled by the witnesses, only one signal was 
present during initial observations. If the UFO actually reflected radar signals transmitted from the B-47, and appeared in the 
same position on the 

[[401]] 



navigator's scope as one, the number two monitoring scope, reflection of 2,800 mHz. ground signals from these same 
positions seems extremely unlikely. 

2. Could the visual observations have been misinterpreted airplane lights, airplane afterburners, or meteors? 

The persistence of the phenomenon rules out meteors. Observed speeds, plus instant re-position and hovering capabilities are 
not consistent with the aircraft hypothesis. 

3. Were the visual observations necessarily of the same phenomenon as the radar observations? 
Coincidence of disappearances, appearances, and indicated positions suggest a common cause. 

4. If the reported observations are factual and accurate, what capabilities and properties were possessed by the UFO? 

a. Rapid motion, hovering, and instant relocation. 

b. Emission of electromagnetic radiation in the visible region and possibly in the 2,800 mHz. region. 

c. Reflection of radar waves of various frequencies. (From airborne radar units as well as 2,800 mHz. ground units). Failure 
to transmit at the frequency of the number three radar monitor. 

d. Ability to hold a constant position relative to an aircraft. 

5. Could the observed phenomenon be explained as a plasma? 

Ten scientists who specialize in plasma research, at our October 1967 plasma conference regarded an explanation of this 
experience informs of known properties of a plasma as not tenable. 

Further investigation of this case centered around efforts to trace reports of this event submitted by the crew after the B-47 returned to 
the AFB. Recollections of the nature and manner of submission of such reports or records were in sharp divergence. As the 

[[402]] 



pilot recalled the incident, the landing plane was met by their Wing Intelligence personnel, who took all filmed and wire-recorded data 
from the "back-end" crew. The crew was never extensively questioned about the incident. Days or weeks later, however, the crew did 
receive from Air Defense Command, a lengthy questionnaire which they completed including sketches of what they had seen and 
narrative descriptions of the event. The questionnaire also had a section to be completed by the ground radar (GCI) personnel. The 
pilot could not recall where or exactly when the completed questionnaire had been sent. 

In contrast with this recollection, the co-pilot and number two monitoring officer said that no data whatsoever had been recorded 
during the flight. The #1 monitoring unit was equipped for movie filming of its display, and #2 was equipped for wire recording of data. 
Since the flight had been merely for the purpose of checking equipment, however, neither film nor recording wire was taken aboard. 
Both these officers recalled intensive interrogation by their Intelligence personnel immediately after their return to the AFB. They did 
not recall writing anything about the event that day or later. According to their account, the B-47 crew left for England the following day, 
and heard nothing more of the incident. 

Since it appeared that the filmed and recorded data we were seeking had never existed, we renewed the effort to locate any special 
intelligence reports of the incident that might have failed to reach Project Blue Book. A report form of the type described by the pilot 
could not be identified or located. The Public Information Officer at ADC Headquarters checked intelligence files and operations 
records, but found no record of this incident. The Deputy Commander for Operations of the particular SAC Air Wing in which the B-47 
crew served in 1957 informed us that a thorough review of the Wing history failed to disclose any reference to an UFO incident in Fall 
1957. 

Conclusion: 

If a report of this incident, written either by the B-47 crewor by Wing Intelligence personnel, was submitted in 1957, it apparently is 

[[403]] 



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Condon Report, Case 5: B-47 Crew, Radar/Visual Sighting 9/25/2014 

no longer in existence. IVIoving pictures of radar scope displays and other data said to have been recorded during the incident 
apparently never existed. Evaluation of the experience must, therefore, rest entirely on the recollection of crew members ten years 
after the event. These descriptions are not adequate to allow identification of the phenomenon encountered (cf. Section III Chapters 2 
& 6, and Appendix Q). 

[[404]] 



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Condon Report, Case 6: UFO Sighting Over a School 



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Case 6 
North East 
Spring 1966 
Investigators: Craig, Levine 



BACK to Chapter 1 



Abstract: 

Three adult women went onto the high school athletic field to check the identity of a bright light which had frightened an 1 1 -year-old girl 
in her home nearby, and reported that one of three lights they saw maneuvering in the sky above the school flew noiselessly toward 
them, coming directly overhead, 20 - 30 ft. above one of them. It was described as a flowing, solid, disc-like, automobile-sized object. 
Two policemen who responded to a telephoned message that a UFO was under observation verified that an extraordinary object was 
flying over the high school. The object has not been identified. Most of the extended observation, however, apparently was an 
observation of the planet Jupiter. 

Background: 

The account of an incident which occurred some 16 mo. earlier was sufficiently impressive to a field team investigating current 
sightings in the general region of The Northeast to cause the team to interview some of the individuals involved in the earlier report. 

According to the account, an 1 1 -year-old girl heard a bump outside her bedroom window about 9:00 p.m. and looked out the window 
to see a football-shaped object with flashing red lights moving in the air. Frightened, she ran downstairs. Her father was watching T.V. 
and said that its reception was showing the effects of interference. Two neighbor women arrived at that time, saw the red light near the 
high school, and called the girl's mother. The three women agreed to go out toward the school grounds to show the girl, who stayed in 
the house, that what she saw was 

[[405]] 



nothing but an airplane. However, when they got to the field, about 300 yd. from the school building, they saw three separate lights, 
generally red, but green or white at times, which were not like airplane lights. The center light was darting about over the school 
building, and the others were "sort of playing tag" with it. Still thinking they might be planes or helicopters, one of the women beckoned 
the nearest light with an arm motion, whereupon it came directly toward her. She said that as it approached nearly overhead, she 
could see that it was a metal disc, about the size of a large automobile, with growing lights around its top. She described the object as 
flat-bottomed and solid, with a round outline and a surface appearance like dull aluminum. The other two women ran. Looking back, 
they saw their friend directly beneath the object, which was only 20-30 ft. above her head. She had her hands clamped over her head 
in a self-protective manner, and later reported that she thought the object was going to crush her. The object tilted on edge, and 
returned to a position about 50 ft. over the high school as the women ran home to call more neighbors. A man and his wife, came out 
and saw the lights that were pointed out to them. One of the lights appeared to be only 15-30 ft. above the roof of the school building. 
To this couple, the lights appeared oval-shaped, flashing, mostly red, but changing colors. The lights were star-like in appearance, but 
looked a little larger than stars. The man ran back and telephoned the police. As the group, now consisting of the three women, the 
girl, the girl's older brother and handicapped father, and the neighbor couple, awaited the arrival of police, the central object receded 
in the sky and looked like a star. Its two companions had left the scene unnoticed apparently while the observers' attention was 
focussed on the receding object. As two policemen arrived, the observers were concerned that the police would think the UFO was 
only a star. However, the star-like light did brighten and 

[[406]] 



resume its motion over the high school. The officers reportedly jumped back into their police cruiser and drive down to the school 
parking lot, where they saw the object at close range before it sped off, with the police in pursuit. The object had been observed for a 
total of about 30-45 mm. It had made no noise, and the observers felt no heat or wind from the object when it was overhead. 

Investigation: 

One of the police officers was interviewed. He confirmed the claim by the other observers that he and another officer had responded 
to the call and, after having the object pointed out to them by the group of observers near the school grounds, drove down to the school 
parking lot to get a closer look at the object. He said it was neither an airplane nor helicopter, but he did not know what it was. The 
object seemed to the officer to be shaped like a half dollar, with three lights of different colors in indentations at the "tail end," 
something like back-up lights. It seemed to have a more or less circular motion but was always over the school. After the officers 
arrived at the parking lot, the object "flew around" the school two or three more times and departed apparently toward the airport. As it 
got farther away, it looked like just one light. It took off at a "normal speed," staying the same height in the sky. It dimmed and then 
disappeared quickly. 

The three women, two children, and the girl's father granted a group interview to project investigators. Their story was generally quite 



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Condon Report, Case 6: UFO Sighting Over a School 



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consistent with that recorded a year earlier by NICAP interviewers. The fact was brought out that the school parking lot had been filled 
with cars during the early part of the UFO sighting, since there was a Friday evening basketball game at the school. None of their 
occupants, having driven away while the UFO over the school building was under observation, reported 



[[407]] 



seeing an UFO. Some youngsters leaving the school grounds were told about the UFOs by the observers. The observers said the 
youngsters watched for a while, then left-apparently unimpressed. 

Review of all reports indicated that all observers other than the young girl and the group of three women had seen something that 
looked like a star. Written reports by both policemen stated the object appeared "like a bright star," and the reports of the four said the 
objects "when standing still, looked like stars." The changing of colors could be due to ordinary scintillation of starlight, and some 
apparent motion of the object could be accounted for as autokinesis, even if a star were being observed (see Section VI, Chapters 1 
and 2). 

Descent of the object over the women's heads could not be attributed to autokinesis, or apparent motion of a motionless light. Could 
all other reported movements be accounted for if one assumed the observers actually were looking at a star or planet? The policeman 
had been asked how close he was to the object at its closest position when he was in the school parking lot, and he indicated a 
distance of about 200 yd. As shown in the accompanying sketch, (Fig. 2 ) which was prepared by Raymond B. Fowler, chairman of 
the NICAP Mass. Subcommittee, the police were about 200 yd. from the high school when the object over the school was first pointed 
out to them (position marked FENCE on the sketch). They must, therefore, not have reduced the apparent distance to the object when 
they drove down to the parking lot next to the school building. Mr. Fowler's original report, written a few days after the incident, said of 
the police, "As they came into the school yard, the object moved off slowly into the SW toward [a factory] and disappeared from view." 
An observer approaching the school building on the driveway from the road (see sketch), as the police officers did, and looking at a 
star over the building, would see the same apparent motion of the star as a near object moving to the SW would have. 

[[408]] 




Figure 2: Mapof Sighting Area 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[409]] 



Motion attributed to the object (except for the descent overhead) was typically circular, or "up, down, and around." The object was thus 
not seen to move far from its original position. In response to the question "How did the object disappear from view?" the woman who 
had reported being directly beneath the object wrote, "Just vanished in a circular direction in plain view." One of the police officers 
wrote, "The object seemed to stay at the same height and just move away very smoothly." 

As shown in the sketch, in all views except the reported close encounter, the principal object was seen in the same WNW direction. 
This fact, plus the fact that it stayed in this general direction and disappeared as if going straight away from the observer, in addition 
to its having the appearance of a very bright star, leads to the conclusion that the observed light was a planet. The nautical almanac 
shows the planet Jupiter, with a magnitude of -1 .6 (eleven times as bright as a first magnitude star), to have been 20°-30° above the 
horizon, 23° N of W, during the time of this UFO observation. This position exactly matches the location the principal object was 
reported to have been seen. 

Conclusions: 

No explanation is attempted to account for the close UFO encounter reported by three women and a young girl. All other aspects of 
this multiple-witness report indicate the observers were looking at the planet Jupiter, with ordinary scintillation effects (the night was 
said to have been crystal clear) accounting for observed color change, and apparent object motion accounted for by autokinesis and 
motion of the observer. 

[[410]] 



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Condon Report, Case 7: Photos Allegedly Taken from C-47 Cockpit 



9/25/2014 



Case 7 
North Mountain 
Summer 1966 
Investigators: Craig, Levine 



BACK to Chapter 1 



Abstract: 

A retired Air Force pilot presented two 35 mm. slides, showing a red saucer-like object against a background of sky and clouds. He 
claimed to have taken the pictures from the pilot's seat of a C-47 in flight before he retired from the Air Force. The witness' reputation 
is irreproachable. Frame numbers on the slides and others from the same film roll raised the question whether the pictures were taken 
under the conditions claimed. 

Background: 

On 9 January 1968 we received two 35 mm. color slides, each showing a distinct flying-saucer-like object against a background of 
broken clouds. The object was brick-red, flat on the bottom, with a dome on top and a dark band which looked like windows around 
the dome. One slide was generally blurred, while the other showed sharp outlines of the object against the clouds. A very bright area, 
spanning one portion of the window-like dark band and extending onto the metallic-appearing body of the object, had the appearance 
of specular reflection. The cloud background was similar in the two pictures, showing the object to have moved about 1 0o to the right 
in picture two as compared with number one. 

According to accompanying information, the pictures were taken in Summer 1966 by an officer in the Air Force. He said he had been 
piloting a C-47 over the Rocky Mountains when he took the UFO pictures from his plane. The co-pilot was busy computing expected 
destination arrival times, and did not see the object, which was 

[[411]] 



visible only a few seconds. No one else saw the object or knew that the pilot had taken the pictures. The now retired officer was 
currently employed at one of the FAA control centers, where he had shown the pictures to friends. As a result of this showing, the 
slides were obtained and, with the photographer's permission, sent to the project for evaluation. 

Frames of the two slides carried the processing date of December 1966. The blurred slide carried the slide number 14, and the 
sharper slide carried the number 1 1 on its frame. There was no evidence of airplane window framing orwindow dirt or reflection on 
either slide. Lighting of the clouds gave the appearance that one was indeed looking at the tops of sunlit clouds. The pictures were 
said to have been taken consecutively at about 1 1 :00 a.m. local time on a day in July, and to have been left in the camera, 
undeveloped, until the rest of the roll was exposed and commercially developed in December 1966. The incident had never been 
reported to the Air Force because, the officer said he knew that people were ridiculed for reporting such things, and the pictures had 
not been shown to anyone outside the officer's family for a year after development. 

The ex-pilot consented to our examination of his photographs on condition that his identity would not be revealed. 
Investigation: 

Checking the window structure of DC-3 planes (courtesyof Frontier Airlines), which are the same as C-47s, revealed that it would be 
quite easy to take 35 mm. pictures through the windshield, at ten or twelve o'clock from the pilot's position, without getting any part of 
the windshield framework in the field of view of the camera. 

The UFO photographer and his wife were interviewed at their home. According to the officer's account the UFO incident occurred 
about 

[[412]] 



1 1 :00 a.m., when the plane was about 25 mi. SW of Provo. He had turned control of the C-47 over to the co-pilot and gotten his 
camera ready to take pictures of the mountains ahead. He had set the shutter of his camera [VITO CL Voightlander, Lanthar2.8 lens] 
at 1/500 sec. exposure, and adjusted the iris reading to give proper exposure as indicated by the built-in coupled light meter. [This 
was f 5.6 to 8, he thought]. He was using high speed Ektachrome film, EH 35, ASA 160. He was thus ready to take pictures of the 
mountains, with camera held in his hands in his lap, when the unknown object appeared at about "ten o'clock." He quickly 
photographed the object, wound the camera, and got a second picture before the object sped upward and to the right, out of view. He 
had lost sight of the object momentarily as it went behind the compass at the center of the windshield, then saw it again briefly as it 
passed through the visible top left corner of the right windshield before the cockpit ceiling blocked his view of the object. The object 
had been in sightonly a few seconds, and had moved in a sweeping path in front of the plane, appearing to accelerate, but making no 
sudden changes in direction or speed. The officer judged the time interval the object was visible by the time necessary for him to bring 
the camera up to his eye, snap a picture, wind the film (a single stroke, lever advance), and snap the second picture. This required 



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Condon Report, Case 7: Photos Allegedly Taken from C-47 Cockpit 



only a few seconds, and the object vanished very soon after the second picture was taken. 



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1 



The co-pilot was busy with computations, and did not look up in time to see the object. In earlier telephone conversation, the officer 
said he told the co-pilot he had just taken a picture of something and the co-pilot's response was a disinterested "that's nice." The 
officer stated that the co-pilot didn't know but that he had photographed the left wing of the plane, or something of that sort. In the taped 
interview, the officer stated that he had asked the co-pilot if he had seen the object that the officer had just photographed, and the co- 
pilot had said he did not. According to this account, the co-pilot should 

[[413]] 



have known that the pilot had photographed an unidentified object but neither reported the incident upon landing. 

From Provo to the next check point. Battle Mountain, Idaho, the direction of flight was slightly north of west. The witness felt they were 
flying SW at the time of sighting, and may have still been in a turn after passing the Provo checkpoint. If the bright spot on the picture of 
the object is a specular reflection as it appears, and if the object was at the photographer's twelve o'clock position at 1 1 :00 a.m., the 
position of the specular reflection would require the plane to have been in a heading between east and north. 

The officer's wife supported his story that they had had the roll of film developed several months after the UFO pictures were taken. 
The officer stated that there were pictures already on the roll before the UFO shots were taken and after the UFO pictures were taken 
in July, and the roll was finished during September and October. These later pictures showed park and mountain scenes, as well as a 
snowstorm scene. 

The witness was aware that frame numbers printed on the slides (14 and 1 1 ) did not agree with his story that they were taken 
consecutively on the roll (1 4 before 1 1 ). He indicated, however, that all pictures on the roll were numbered erroneously. 

Removal of slides from their mountings revealed that the numbers on the mountings were consistent with frame numbers on the edge 
of the film itself. Each number on the film was one integer lower than the number on the mounting. This held true also for the UFO 
shots, frame numbers 1 1 and 14 yielding pictures with numbers ten and 13 shown on the film edge. These numbers show rather 
conclusively that the UFO pictures were taken after the snow-storm, rather than in July when the witness was still in the Air Force. They 
also were not taken on consecutive frames of the roll, and were taken in an order reversed to that claimed. The numbering 
examination was witnessed by five project staff members. 

[[414]] 



Conclusion: 

In view of the discrepancies, detailed analysis of the photographs did not seem justifiable. They were returned to the officer with our 
comment that they obviously could not be used by us to support claims that the object photographed was other than an ordinary object 
of earthly origin thrown into the air. 

[[415]] 



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Condon Report, Case 8: Sighting of Disk by Motorist 



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Case 8 
North Central 
Summer 1966 
Investigators: Hynek, Low 



BACK to Chapter 1 



Abstract: 

Witness was driving in a rural area in late afternoon, when, he said, a silvery metallic-looking disk with dome, about 30 ft. diameter, 
descended with wobbling motion into the adjacent valley, hovered just above the ground about 200 ft. from the witness, then took off 
rapidly with a whooshing sound. Depressions in ground and overturned rocks near landing site were offered as evidence, but may 
have been caused by animals. The report is unexplained. 

Background: 

Project Bluebook records showed that the witness, a man employed by the U.S. Immigration Service, had reported a UFO sighting. 
He had been interviewed in the summer of 1966 by the Director of Operations at Minot AFB, who had visited the reported site of the 
UFO landing. The interview disclosed the following: 

About 5:00 p.m. on a cloudy day, the witness was driving about one mile north of a town when bright flashes in a clear patch of sky low 
in the east caught his attention. He stopped and watched as a bright metallic, silvery object dropped below the horizon and moved 
down the slope opposite him into the shallow valley. It appeared to be tilted, so that he saw it as a disc. A domelike shape on top 
could be seen. It was about ten feet above the ground, and moved with a wobbly, "falling-leaf motion. In its center was a dark spot, 
like smoked glass, about five feet in diameter, and around it three smaller spots. When it reached the valley floor, it rose about 100 ft. 
and moved to a small reservoir, where it turned horizontal and hovered for about one minute. Then it moved up-slope to a small field 
and settled 

[[416]] 



down within a few feet of the ground and about 250 ft. from the witness. Thereafter it slowly tilted back on edge, took off with a 
whooshing sound, and disappeared rapidly into the clouds. The witness' car radio, which had stopped working during the landing, 
came back to life. 

A visit to the reported "landing" site disclosed nothing of interest except two groups of depressions and approximately ten rocks that 
had been recently displaced. The three depressions in each group were spaced about 9.5-1 2.5 ft. apart. The rocks were about one 
foot in diameter or less. The investigating officer commented that persons familiar with wild game in the area had pointed out that 
grouse make similar depressions in nesting, and that coyotes and badgers overturn rocks in the manner observed. He noted also that 
the witness impressed him as a steady, practical kind of person. He wished no publicity, and said he would deny the story if it got out. 

Investigation: 

Project investigator Low and Dr. J. Allen Hynek of Dearborn Observatory, Northwestern University, visited the town in the fall of 1966, 
interviewed the witness and went with him to the site he had reported. They were able to fill in some details: the witness had seen the 
discoid object at first about .75 mi. distant; it had approached as close as 100 ft.; there it had hovered about one minute, about ten 
feet off the ground; then it took off and disappeared in about three seconds. The entire observation of the object had taken about five 
minutes. 

At the site, the investigators noted the depressions and the overturned rocks, but were unable to add anything significant to the earlier 
report. They learned at Minot AFB that no target corresponding to the sighting had appeared on radar. 

Comment: 

In the absence of supporting witnesses or unambiguous physical evidence, no significant confirmation of the witness' report could be 
developed. Like other spectacular one-witness sighting reports, it cannot be verified or refuted. 

[[417]] 



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Condon Report, Case 9: Sighting by USAF Base Guards 



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Case 9 
North Central 
Summer 1966 
Investigators: Hynek, Low 



BACK to Chapter 1 



Abstract: 

Two guards on post about 1 0:00 p.m. reported that a glowing saucer-shaped object at 450 altitude in the NE descended toward 
them, then receded. Radar was alerted, and reported an unidentified target at 95 ml. due north, very near the horizon; a fighter was 
unable to locate it. A strike team sent out to the site of the first observation reported unexplained white lights nearthe southeast 
horizon. These may have been aircraft, and the original object Capella. 

Investigation: 

The investigators went to the AFB and talked with several persons involved in the reported UFO sightings. Their principal findings 
follow. 

About 10:00 p.m. a guard walking his post at missile site Mike 6 reported a luminous shape at about 45° altitude in the northern sky. It 
exhibited limited lateral motion, but always came back to its original direction. It appeared about the width of a thumb, presumably at 
arm's length and continually changed color from green, to red, to blue in turn. It seemed dim relating to stars. When it was apparently 
nearest, it appeared like a luminous inverted dinner plate. 

The guard was frightened and woke his partner, who was due to relieve him at 1 1 :00 p.m. Both watched the object. Meanwhile, their 
captain sent out a strike team to Mike 6 and alerted the south base radar crew. 

The latter reported about 1 1 :30 p.m. that they had an unidentified target on search radar at 95 ml., azimuth 357°. A little later, 

[[418]] 



presumably the same target was picked up on the height finder radar at 95 mi., azimuth 360°, altitude 2,400 ft. Later it was reported at 
4,400 ft. and changing altitude "every so often;" it was observed from 2,400 to 8,200 ft. altitude and varied a degree or two in azimuth, 
but the range of 95 mi. did not vary. The target remained continuously on the radar until the operator was relieved at 3:00 a.m. Except 
when a fighter was sent out, it was an isolated target; no other aircraft, ground clutter, or noise pips were seen within 20 mi. of it. 

The pilot of the fighter sent to intercept the radar target reported that, guided by the radar crew, he had flown over the target location at 
1,000, 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, and 5,000 ft. The radar verified that the plane passed through or very nearthe target, but the pilot saw 
nothing, nor did he detect anything on his radar or on his infrared detector. 

By the time a strike team reached Mike 6, about 1 1 :20 p.m. the original object was gone. However, they and several other men 
noticed one or more yellow-white lights very low on the southeastern horizon, in the direction of the airstrip at the base 50 mi. distant. 
These moved irregularly over a range of about 35° in azimuth. 

At the request of the Colorado investigators, an officer sometime later went with one of the Mike 6 guards and the two members of the 
strike team to the Mike 6 site at night. There they pointed out as accurately as possible the locations of the objects they had seen. The 
guard, relying on a nearby fence as reference, indicated that the object he and his partner had first seen had ranged in azimuth from 
about 0° to 55° but had been at about 40° most of the time. It had been "very high." Soon after the strike team had arrived, he had 
been trying to watch the yellow-white light on the southeastern horizon, and when he looked again to the NE the original object was 
gone. 

The leader of the strike team indicated that the original object had been pointed out to him by the guard at about 20° azimuth; it was 
"unusually bright and very high." His partner did not see it. 

[[419]] 



The officer stated also that it was possible from Mike 6 to see the lights of aircraft in their landing approaches at the AFB; they would 
have been very nearthe horizon because of the local topography. One large airplane had landed at the base at midnight, and two 
others at 12:29 a.m. The officer thought it highly probable that the white light reported in that sector had been the landing lights of one 
or more of these aircraft. 

Comment: 

A situation of this kind is difficult to evaluate, because of the number of people and objects involved and vagueness or inconsistencies 
as to various details. As to the original object seen by the guards, the fact that it continually changed color and oscillated about a fixed 



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Condon Report, Case 9: Sighting by USAF Base Guards 



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position suggests a star. The sky was clear, and the bright star Capella was a few degrees above the north-northeast horizon. If the 
guards' estimate of 45° altitude was accurate, the object could not have been Capella; but a sleepy man on a lone guard post might 
quite possibly have a distorted impression, especially if he is not used to making such judgments. One officer commented that most 
guards did not report UFOs, but the guard who reported this one was new and had not seen one before. However, he was supported 
by the leader of the strike team, who remembered the object was "very high." 

Whatever the original object was, it appears unlikely that the unidentified radar target was the same object. Apparently the visual 
object disappeared at about the time the radar target was acquired. The latter was very near the horizon, and remained at a fixed 
range and very near 0° azimuth, a location and behavior entirely different from that reported for the visual object. 

The radar target was practically stationary except in altitude; it was very near the horizon; and no object was detectable by an aircraft 
pilot searching the target location. All of these factors suggest strongly that the target was generated by anomalous atmospheric 
propagation from a stationary object at a quite different location. 

[[420]] 



Thus, what was ostensibly a single sighting was probably three; and there is much in the situation to suggest that the later two-radar 
target and white lights-were commonplace phenomena that were endowed with significance by the excitement generated by the first 
report. The weight of evidence suggests that the original object was Capella, dancing and twinkling near the horizon; however, the 
evidence is not sufficient to justify any definite conclusion. 

[[421]] 



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Case 10: Pulsating Light Seen from Car; No Explanation 



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Case 10 
South Central 
Winter 1966 
Investigators: Saunders, Wadsworth 



BACK to Chapter 1 



Abstract: 

A pulsating reddish light seen below treetop level from a highway at night became brilliant white briefly, then resumed its earlier 
character. Its location was estimated by rough triangulation. By comparison with the car headlights, the white light was estimated to 
emanate from a source of several hundred megawatts. Inspection of the area ten weeks later revealed no explanation of the light. 

Background: 

The principal witness reported the sighting to Barksdale AFB; the report reached the CU project shortly aftenA/ard, and a telephone 
interview with the witness developed the following account. 

The principal witness, with his wife and children, was driving north on U.S. Highway 79 through a wooded region near the eventual 
UFO site at about 8:30 p.m. The sky was heavily overcast, with fog and a light drizzle, ceiling about 300 feet; no lightning activity was 
noticed. The wife called her husband's attention to a red-orange glow appearing through and above the trees ahead and to the left 
(west), and both watched it as they continued driving. The light apparently emanated from a source below the tops of the trees, 
appearing as a luminous hemisphere through the fog and rain. It pulsated regularly, ranging from dull red to bright orange with a period 
of about two seconds. 

As the witnesses reached a point on the road apparently nearest the source of the light, it suddenly brightened to a brilliant white, 
"washing out" the headlight illumination on the road, lighting up the landscape and casting shadows of trees, forcing the driver to 
shield 

[[422]] 



his eyes from the glare, and waking the children. After about four seconds, the light subsided to its earlier red-orange pulsation. The 
driver then stopped to estimate the bearing of the source from the highway (it was then to the rear) and then proceeded on his way. No 
sound or other effect had been noted except the light. 

The principal witness, a nuclear physicist, made rough estimates of his distance from the light source and the illumination it produced 
during the bright phase. From these estimates, he deduced a source powerof about 800 megawatts, which he believed implied a 
nuclear-energy source. This figure was later revised somewhat. 

Investigation: 

Although the report did not relate specifically to an UFO, the qualifications of the principal witness, the similarity of the reported 
incident to many UFO reports, and the possibility of recurrence or observable effects of heat, all appeared to justify a field 
investigation. 

In Spring, 1967, the project team, together with the principal witness and his astronomer friend, began a joint air-and-ground 
investigation of the area in which the light had appeared. While two men in a helicopter surveyed the area, the other two operated 
transits to fix the location of the helicopter whenever they were informed by radio that it was over a feature of interest. At night a watch 
was kept for a possible reappearance of the light. The following day, the vicinity of the presumed location of the light was explored on 
foot. 

The area was found to contain little but trees, underbrush, and oil wells. A burned area that showed slightly higher radioactivity than 
background turned out to be a burned-over oil slick beside a pumping station. Similar radiation anomalies were found at other oil 
slicks. Nothing was found that suggested any relation to the unexplained light source. 

The CU team returned home, while the principal witness carried out several follow-up investigations. He later reported the following 
results: 

[[423]] 

1. The chief dispatcher of a railroad which runs in the vicinity of the sighting, stated that no rolling stock was within 50 mi. of the site 
on the night in question. 

2. The nearest high-tension power lines were about nine miles west of the area. 

3. The five oil companies operating in the area concerned had no record of any burnoffs, or rupture of oil or gas lines, or other fires 
in the vicinity of the sighting. No fires, flares, orother night activity had occurred in the area for a year preceding the sighting. 



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Case 10: Pulsating Light Seen from Car; No Explanation 



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Numerous areas in the region showed significant radiation levels. These appeared to relate to oil wells or old tank sites, but not 
all such places showed anomalies. 



4. 



5. A local resident related that he had hunted in the area for many years, and that he had noted a sharp decrease in game since 
the end of 1966. 

6. The principal witness revised his estimate of the power of the light source to a minimum of 500 megawatts. He estimated that he 
drove about 0.6 mi. from first sighting of the light until its bright phase, and had clocked 0.6 mi. on the odometer from that point 
to his final observation. He estimated that the bearing of the light relative to the highway was between 45° and 60°, fonA/ard in the 
first case and reanA/ard in the second. The highway was not straight; but he estimated his distance from the light during its 
intense phase by plotting the bearings on an aerial photo of the area, obtaining a range of 1 ,000-1 ,400 yd. 

He judged that the illumination during the intense phase was just noticeably stronger than that of his headlights ten meters in front 
of the automobile. His headlamps totalled 175 watts. On the basis of this rough photometry, he computed the power of the 
unknown source at about 500 megawatts. However, he noted that its total power might have been substantially less than this 
value if it was concentrated in a beam. 

[[424]] 



7. The witness reported several descriptions of sightings by others in the area; but these did not appear to offer anything to clarify 
the original sighting. However, one witness reported that about 8:30 p.m. six days before the sighting a similar bright white light 
had appeared nearthe location of the original sighting. 

8. The principal witness arranged for the photointerpretation group at Barksdale AFB to examine aerial photographs of the vicinity 
of the sighting, and he and a companion went in on foot to check detailed features the AF analysts noted. Several features were 
not satisfactorily identified, but nothing was discovered that appeared to relate to the sighting. 

Comment: 

This case is of interest mainly because of the difficulty in accounting for any kind of a light in that area on such a night, and because of 
the very high power attributed to the source. However, the latter estimate involves great uncertainties. 

Considering that it was a dark, rainy night and that the sighting was unexpected, the witness' judgment of his locations on the highway 
when he took bearings may have been seriously inaccurate. His comparison of the illumination during the intense phase of the 
unknown source with that of his headlights was subject to wide errors because of the rain, excitement, and difficulty in adapting to the 
sudden brilliant light. A significant discrepancy appears in the record: In a formal report of the sighting written 5 April 1967, the 
principal witness stated that the "intensity" (illumination) from the unknown source "at the highway" was estimated by JND "just 
noticeable difference" curves to be at least 100 times that of the headlamps. In a letter dated 3 June 1967, he stated that he estimated 
the illumination from the headlamps ten meters ahead of the car was one JND greater than that of the unknown source; this was the 
basis of the revised computation. In a follow-up telephone conversation 13 September 1968~admittedly a long time after the event-he 
stated that he did not recall that he had detected any difference in illumination by the unknown source and the headlamps on the road 
20 ft. ahead. 

[[425]] 



Further uncertainties are involved in attempting to compare the source intensity of the unknown light with that of the headlamps. The 
light from the latter is concentrated in beams in which the distribution is unspecified, and which were incident on the road at an 
unknown angle (e.g., high or low beams). The unknown light emanated apparently from a concentrated source seen through trees from 
a moving car, and also from a general glow (reflection from clouds?) above the trees; it would have been enhanced by this effect, and 
attenuated by the rain, fog, and obstructing trees. And it impinged on the roadway at an unknown-really undefinable-angle. In such 
circumstances, photometry is crude indeed. 

Interpretation of even such a result as this informs of the power dissipated in the light source introduces further wide uncertainties, 
since nothing whatever was known as to the mechanism of the light source or its radiative efficiency as compared with that of 
automobile headlamps, orwhether it was radiating in a beam toward the witness or in all directions. All of these factors bear crucially 
on the power estimate, so that the value of several hundred megawatts is highly dubious. 

[[426]] 



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Condon Report, Case 11: DC-8 Flight Crew Sighting 



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Case 1 1 
South Central 
Winter 1966 
Investigator: Roach 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

Four members of the crew of a DC-8 aircraft ona night flight from Lima, Peru to IVIexico, D.F. reported sighting two bright lights which 
appeared to increase their angular separation with time. At the greatest angular separation the lights appeared to one of the 
observers to be connected by a body which had a suggestion of windows. Protuberances from the main "body" were reported. The 
object appeared to fly "in formation" with the aircraft for about two minutes and then was lost to view behind the wing of the aircraft. 

It is suggested that the sighting may have been the result of the reentry of fragments of the Agena from Gemini II. 

Background: 

During a regular flight of a DC-8 commercial airliner from Lima to Mexico City four crew members reported an interesting sighting to 
the left of the aircraft. Here is the description given by the captain. 

Two very bright lights, one of which was pulsating; from the two lights were two thin beams of light (like aircraft landing 
lights) which moved from a V initially to an inverted V finally. At one point the object seemed to emit a shower of sparks 
(similar to a firework). There appeared to be a solid shape between the two white lights, which was thicker in the middle 
and tapered outwards. There was also a strip of light between 

[[428]] 



the white lights (not very bright and yellowish in color). Much like cabin lights of an aircraft. 
The chronology and circumstances of events are given below: 
Time: Winter 1966; 0803 GCT; 0238 local time. 
Position of aircraft: Latitude 6°S; Longitude 8r42'W. 
Moon: Almost full moon, high in the sky behind the aircraft. 
Heading of aircraft: 318° magnetic, 324° geographic (36°W of N). 



Table 1 



Time Description 
(relative) 



0 min. First sighting. Two lights, 70° left, about 10° above the horizon. Estimated separation of the lights about 1/2° 

4 min. Lights now about 90° to the left, brighter than the full moon, separation of the lights estimated at about 9° or 10°. A 

suggestion of "windows" between the lights. Shower of sparks from more northerly light. 

5 min. "Pacing" the aircraft 

6 min. "Pacing" the aircraft 

7 min. Object lost to view behind the left wing. 



[[429]] 



Suggested explanation of the sighting: 

The apparent "pacing" of the aircraft by the object for an estimated two minutes is a puzzling feature of the sighting. Also the captain's 
sketch is suggestive of some kind of a craft. These add up to the intriguing possibility of an intelligently guided craft which, in the 
words of the aircraft's captain, "is a craft with speed and maneuverability unknown to us." 



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Condon Report, Case 11: DC-8 Flight Crew Sighting 



In a discussion with the captain, who has had some 26 yr. of flying experience, I asked his opinion of the following possibilities: 



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Table 2 

Explanation Evaluation by Captain 

Aircraft Definitely no 

Meteor No 
Reentry of satellite Possible 



The Agena from Gemini II (see Plate 20) had been predicted to reenter at 0730 GCTat latitude 21 N, and longitude 134 E (NE of the 
Philippine I.). This is some 33 min. earlier than the sighting and about 1/3 of the of the earth's circumference away. NORAD has made 
a calculation of a reentry of a fragment or fragments from the Agena which would have a much smaller drag coefficient than the Agena 
proper. The final computer predictions to represent an extended reentry of a low drag fragment in the vicinity of the aircraft are shown 
in Table 3. It is noteworthy that during the last two minutes from 08h 04m 30s to 08h 06m 21s the object is dropping almost vertically 
from 26 km. to 10 km. The aircraft was presumably flying at about the latter height. 

The closest approach of the Agena and the aircraft is about 250 statute mi. The rapid deceleration of the reentering fragment 

[[430]] 



at the end of its journey is consistent with the impression of the crew that the object was pacing the aircraft since it could have 
appeared close to 90° on the leftside of the aircraft for some minutes during its final descent into the atmosphere. The time of the 
sighting was given by the report of the crew as 0803 OCT. It is not known whether this time was near the early or the late part of the 
event. Also there is some uncertainty as to the exact geographical location of the aircraft during the sighting. With these uncertainties it 
seems that the proposed explanation of the sighting as due to the reentry of the Agena from Gemini II is reasonable (but not proven) 
so far as the relative paths of the aircraft and the predicted reentry are concerned. 

Table 3 

NORAD Computer Predictions for Extended Reentry of Low Drag Fragment of 
Agena 



Date 


Hr. 


Mm. 


Sec. 


S. Lat. 


E. Long. 


Ht.(km.) 


30 Dec. 1966 


08 


00 


30 


4°.498 


268°.218 


81. 






01 


30 


6.390 


271 .476 


74 






03 


30 


9.264 


276 .572 


43 






04 


30 


9.558 


277.106 


26 






05 


30 


9.577 


277.142 


15 






06 


21 


9.577 


277.142 


10 



[[431]] 



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Condon Report, Case 12: Claim of UFO Effect on Automobile Functions 



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Case 12 
North Eastern 
Winter 1967 

Investigators: Fred Hooven and David IVIoyer of Ford IVIotor Company 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

Witness reported that, while she was driving alone at night, a luminous object hovered over her car for several miles, then moved 
rapidly into the distance, and that several mechanical and electrical functions of her car were found to be impaired aftenA/ard. 
Examination of the car two months later disclosed no faults that were not attributable to ordinary causes, nor any significant magnetic 
or radioactive anomaly in or on the car body. 

Background: 

The witness reported this and an earlier sighting to a sheriff who referred her to someone at a local university. The latter, in turn, 
reported the case to the Colorado project staff. Because the report indicated that the case would afford a good opportunity to test the 
possibility of electromagnetic effects on an automobile by an UFO, Hooven and Moyerwere asked to carry out a detailed 
investigation. 

Investigation: 

In the spring of 1 967 Moyer recorded an interview with the witness and drove her car back to Dearborn, where Ford engineers and 
laboratory staff under Hooven's direction examined it in detail. 

The witness, a professional secretary, reported that, while driving on a rural road near her home about 2 a.m. one morning in the 
winter of 1967, she first noticed that the scene in front of her was brightly illuminated. Thinking at first that her headlamps were on high 
beam, she operated her foot switch but this 

[[432]] 



made no difference, although the indicator light was responding. She then turned the headlamps out, but the illumination was 
undiminished. She then observed that its source was a luminous body over her car, which she perceived in the rear-view mirror and 
from the side windows. The object remained directly over her car for ten or fifteen minutes as she drove along the road rather slowly. 
The car would not accelerate. She depressed the accelerator all the way. Though the car went straight, she felt that she was not 
steering it, rather it - or her mind - was being steered from the mysterious object. She opened one window and could hear no sound. 
At the top of a rise the object drew away and "made a big check mark in the sky." It disappeared rapidly into the distance, growing 
redder as it did so. As it moved away, it resembled an inverted mushroom having a short stem on top and a uniform yellowish glow 
and two bright white lights and several smaller ones underneath. 

The witness reported four instrument malfunctions after the incident that she had not noticed before: (1 ) the radio was weak and full of 
static; (2) the speedometer read low; (3) the battery did not charge properly and the ammeter did not read as usual; (4) the oil gauge 
was stuck at the maximum reading. 

After his interview with the witness, Moyer drove her car, a 1 964 Comet, to Detroit, where Ford engineers and research staff 
investigated its condition in detail. With respect to the malfunctions reported by the witness, they found that: (1 ) The radio antenna had 
been broken off the car, so that only local stations could be heard through the background noise. (2) The fan belt, which operated the 
generator, was so loose that the generator was not delivering normal charging power to the battery. (3) In the speedometer, a die 
casting that provided alignment for the bearings had been broken, repaired, and apparently had broken again, causing bearing 
friction that caused the speedometer to read low. This condition was aggravated by sticky lubricant from the speedometer cable that 
had worked up. (4) The transmitter element of the oil gauge was malfunctioning because of electrical leakage due to corrosion. 

[[433]] 



All of the reported malfunctions were found to result from conditions that are commonplace in cars of the age and mileage of the 
witness' Comet. 

The metal-forming operations in the manufacture of a car body produce a characteristic magnetization pattern for each model, which 
persists for years with little change unless the metal is reworked or subjected to a magnetic field substantially stronger than that of the 
earth. An examination of the magnetic "signature" of the witness' car body revealed no significant difference from that of three out of 
fourother randomly selected similar cars of the same age. It was therefore concluded that no significant magnetic field had acted on 
the witness' car. 

A Geiger beta-gamma survey counter showed no significant radioactivity from the car body. Scrapings of accumulated dirt and debris 



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Condon Report, Case 12: Claim of UFO Effect on Automobile Functions 9/25/2014 

from hood and deck lid flanges, drip rail, etc., showed low level radioactive contaminations, the strongest being about 5 gammas per 
sec. at 120 keV. A similar survey of material from another 1964 Comet showed a similar level of contamination, though with a different 
spectral distribution. The radioactivity found is not unusual; however, an accurate evaluation of its significance was impossible in the 
absence of detailed knowledge of the environmental history of the car. 

Comments: 

This case is especially interesting because of the specific and detailed information given by the witness, and the "strangeness" of the 
encounter. Her recorded testimony indicates a competent, practical personality, trained and accustomed to keeping her presence of 
mind in unexpected situations. By her account, her first intimation of something strange was the abnormally bright headlight field. Her 
practical response was to try the high-low beam switch, and she distinguished between the dash-signal indication and the lack of 
change in the illumination. Later she lowered the window to listen for any unusual 

[[434]] 



sound. Most interesting is her comment that, after she realized something strange was above the car, she remembered stories of 
alleged mental influence by such apparitions and kept talking to herself to keep her mind actively busy. "I was not about to give it an 
opening." In short her testimony presents the picture of a woman alone on a deserted road confronted by a strange phenomenon, 
scared but coping intelligently with the situation. 

However, her account is not free of discrepancies. She remembered bright moonlight, but the moon was at last quarter on 3 January, 
and would not have been very high even on that date. Her description of what she saw of the UFO through the rear-view mirror is open 
to question. The Ford investigators noted that the internal mirror allows a field of only 3° above the horizontal. The UFO would have 
had to be about 20 times as wide as its elevation above the car to be seen in the mirror at all. She also reported several earlier UFO 
sightings by herself and friends and family in the vicinity of her home. These reports suggest the possibility of a preoccupation with the 
subject. However, she apparently was not seeking publicity. She mentioned the incident early in March to a local deputy sheriff, who 
reported it to a person at a local university. All of the malfunctions of the car that the witness stated had manifested themselves after 
the UFO experience were found to be the results of gradual wear and deterioration except the broken radio antenna, which was 
inconclusive. The case remains interesting but unexplained. 

[[435]] 



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Condon Report, Case 13: Lighted Disc Seen from Car 



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Case 13 
North Eastern 
Winter 1967 
Investigators: Ayer, Wadsworth 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

Two women, joined later by a third, reported three appearances of a disc-shaped object with lights while they were driving in early 
darkness. Because of elapsed time and other factors, no evaluation was practicable. 

Investigation: 

Interviews with the three women in autumn 1 967 developed the following account: 

A woman (witness A), and her niece about 16 yr. old (witness B), were driving north toward town at about 5:45 p.m. They had just 
passed the lake and were about 0.5 mi. south of town, when they saw a "classical" disc-shaped object moving toward them from the 
general direction of the mountain on their right. The disc had several round lights or "portholes" on its equator, and bright beams 
pointed in all directions. It stopped and hovered about 200 yd. from the road at such an altitude that it appeared to be below the crest 
of the mountain. (Since the top of the mountain was 400 ft. higher than the road and 2,400 yd. away, the object would have been 33 ft. 
off the ground if it had been seen in line with the mountain top.) 

The women stopped and observed this phenomenon for five minutes, until the lights went out and the craft vanished. They stayed in the 
car during this time, with the engine running and the lights on. 

They then drove on to town to pick up a woman friend (witness C). Just before arriving in town they looked back and saw the same or 
another object overtaking them from the direction of the lake. This second object looked and behaved like the first, hovering over 

[[436]] 



the ground, remaining for about the same time, and finally vanishing when its lights went out. This time the women got out of the car, 
but left the lights on and the motor running. 

The women continued their drive, picked up their friend, and returned to a pointjusteastof the town to see if the object(s) had 
reappeared. Seeing nothing, they drove around to the east of the mountain and continued south. About a mile south of the mountain, 
they saw another object similar in shape to the first two, but having dim red, square windows, hovering near the road on their right at 
the same altitude as before. The three women got out of the car and turned off the motor and lights, and watched the object until the 
lights went out and it disappeared. 

Comments: 

This case is stronger than most eyewitness accounts, because two original witnesses were corroborated by a third although the third 
is not independent. Unfortunately, the incidents occurred eight months before the interviews, thus affording opportunity for significant 
distortions of memories. Because of the time lapse, a search for other witnesses or other contributing evidence did not appear 
practicable. The case therefore must be regarded as unexplained for lack of knowledge of the context in which it occurred. 

During the interview, the niece made a remark that seemed especially relevant to the numerous sighting reports in that region. When 
asked whether she had seen anything like the disc before, she said she had not, "But we frequently see moving lights." Questions 
about altitude and azimuth, characteristics of the lights and frequency of appearances, brought out that lights had been seen several 
times a week, mostly toward the northwest (15 to 20 mi. away), at a low altitude just above the tree line. The lights were white points 
and moved rather rapidly in a random manner. 

[[437]] 



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Condon Report, Case 14: Multiple Sightings by Police Officers 



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Case 14 
South Central 
Winter 1967 
Investigators: Low, Powers, Wadsworth, Crow 



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Abstract: 

Six UFO reports in the area of two South Central cities were investigated in the winter of 1967. Of the six, three were promptly 
identified, two as astronomical objects and one as a chemical-release rocket shot. The other three remain unidentified as follows: 

1. The city police chief and several officers reported sighting an extended object of spherical shape one morning, winter, 1967. It 
was of whitish or metallic color and showed no surface features as it drifted slowly near the outskirts of the city. The officers 
watched it for about 1 .3 hours before it drifted out of sight. 

2. Several town policemen reported a red-and-green light moving irregularly in the western sky in the morning in winter, 1 967. The 
planet Jupiter was low in the western sky also, but according to the witnesses the object displayed movement which would rule 
out identification as an astronomical object. They also stated that a bright "star" was visible near the object. 

3. Three teenage boys in the city reported to the police that they had just seen a large elongated UFO at the edge of town. Their 
description closely matched that of a recently publicized set of pictures that have since come under suspicion as a probable 
hoax. Credibility of these witnesses was considered marginal. 

Background and investigation: 

First Sighting 

One morning in The winter of 1 967 about .5 hours before dawn, the city police received a call from the town police reporting that an 
unidentified object was headed southeast toward the city. A Police lieutenant drove to a location approximately four miles north of the 
city, and within a few minutes saw what he described as a huge silvery object moving slowly in his direction. The object was low on the 
horizon at an estimated elevation of 1 ,000 ft. 

[[438]] 



Several minutes after the object first became visible, it turned in a southwesterly direction, heading toward a nearby town. At this point, 
additional officers were called as witnesses. They met at a point just west of the city, about four miles from the town. The object was 
visible to all until it drifted out of sight just before dawn. 

There is no reason to doubt the credibility of the sighting; however, the question of what was seen remains unresolved. One bit of 
corroborating evidence was brought to light during the investigation. A periodic glow or reflection from the object was described by the 
Joplin lieutenant. He stated that the glow had a regular five-second period. One-half mile from the witnesses' first location was the 
local airport. The half-rotation period of the airport's two-way beacon is five seconds, and thus consistent with the periodic glow seen 
coming from the object. If the object was both low and nearby, it might have been illuminated by the beacon. 

The possibility of conventional explanation as a balloon was ruled out when a weather check indicated that lower winds were from 
south to southwest. 

Second Sighting. 

At approximately 5:00 a.m., the following morning, a sergeant of the police department observed an unidentified object in the western 
sky. He described the object as a bright light one-fourth the diameter of the full moon, showing no distinct outline, and colored red on 
the left and greenish-blue on the right. The object first attracted attention because of its apparent motion, which was irregular, involving 
stopping and changing direction. After a period of observation during which time several other officers were present, the object 
suddenly dropped as though it were going to "crash", but stopped a short distance above the horizon. By comparing the remembered 
elevation of the object to a pencil held vertically at arms length, it was estimated that the object when first observed, was 12 degrees 
above the horizon, and then dropped 9 or 10 degrees before stopping. 

The sergeant was questioned about Jupiter, which was low in the west at the time. He said that a bright "star" was also visible, but that 
the motion of the object was too pronounced for it to have been a star or planet. He also emphasized that all of the witnesses 
observed the motion simultaneously, and that the object moved relative to 

[[439]] 



the fixed background of stars. The object was still visible when the witnesses left the scene. 



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Condon Report, Case 14: Multiple Sightings by Police Officers 



On the basis of witness testimony, it seems unlikely that the object spotted was Jupiter; however, evidence was insufficient to 
establish this. 



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1 



Third Sighting. 

A sheriff and a police chief reported seeing a bright bluish cloud-like displayfor over an hour just before dawn on a winter morning, 
1967. As daylight approached the object disappeared. 

This "object" was later identified as an active chemical rocket launched from Eglin AFB, Florida, at 5:40 a.m. CST. It rose to an 
altitude of approximately 100 mi, where it released for scientific purposes a cloud of barium particles that glowed brilliantly bluish 
through chemical reaction with the surrounding atmosphere. It has been determined that this display would have been clearly visible 
from the area where the sighting took place. 

Fourth Sighting. 

Three teenage boys reported having seen a large UFO at the edge of town about 1 1:30 p.m., one evening, winter 1967. They 
described structural details, fins, and lights. After first seeing the objectdirectly in front of their car, they followed it as it drifted over a 
wooded area into which there was a narrow access road. There they got out of their car, but became frightened when the object 
appeared to move in their direction, whereupon they returned to their car and left to report the incident. The boys' description and a 
sketch drawn by one of them closely matched recently publicized photographs, one of which had appeared in a local newspaper a few 
days before the sighting. Nevertheless, during interviews, the boys showed no evidence of falsification and seemed to have been 
genuinely frightened by the experience. No corroborating evidence was found to support this report. 

Fifth Sighting 

At 12:30 a.m. , one morning, winter 1967, a report came into the city police station from the state patrol. The report stated 

[[440]] 



that a UFO was at that moment under observation, that it was being photographed, and that it had caused an observer's car to stall. 
Low immediately investigated this report and identified the object as Jupiter. The stalled car was still at the scene with apparently a 
low battery. The observer who had photographed the object said it had moved markedly before coming to rest at its present position. 
Thus, the possibility exists that initially he was watching something other than Jupiter; but there was no doubt of the identity of the 
object that he photographed. 

Sixth Sighting 

At approximately 1 :30 a.m., one morning, winter 1967, the city police dispatcher reported an object low in the East. This was promptly 
identified as Arcturus, which was scintillating markedly. 

The following are pertinent excerpts from the meteorological report for the area on the day of the first sighting as prepared by Loren 
W. Crow: 

The semi-stationary weak cold front lay in a north-northeast south-southwest orientation approximately forty miles 
northwest of [the city]. Behind this front cloudiness was generally overcast at 1 0,000 feet or more above the ground. To the 
east of the front, the sky was generally clear with some patches of scattered clouds. Visibility was 15 miles or greater, and 
the flow of the air was from the south-southwest at the surface in the vicinity of [the city] ... (at higher elevations). 

CLOUDS: It is of some interest to note that the clear condition being observed at [three local stations] at 5:00 a.m. 
changed to reports of at least two cloud layers by 7:00 a.m. at all three stations. Partof this would have been due to 
increasing amounts of light for the trained observers to be able to identify cloudiness which could not have been seen 
during the darker hours of the night ... 

Although the type of clouds being reported at 10,000 feet over [the city] were not identified, the type of cloud in this height 
range was identified as alto-cumulus over [nearby cities]. It is the Author's opinion that this type of 

[[441]] 



cloud would have been altocumulus castellatus, which tends to have rounded edges. The initial formation of such clouds 
would constitute small individual cloud cells. Each may have shown for a matter of a few minutes then may have been 
replaced by another cloud cell nearby which may have been similar in shape. This could have indicated movement from 
the position of the first cloud parcel (which now would have disappeared) to the position of the newer cloud. At the same 
time, the individual clouds would be moving with the wind, which was from a westerly direction at those elevations. 

It is fairly certain that cloudiness began to appear in this area sometime between 4:00 and 6:00 a.m. There may have 
been a few isolated cloud parcels visible with the limited moonlight available at 5:00 a.m.... 

Conclusion 

Of the six sightings investigated, three objects were identified. In only one case of an unidentified object was the evidence strong for 
both its reality and its strangeness. That was the first, which involved a slowly drifting sphere, metallic in color. We have little basis for 



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Condon Report, Case 14: Multiple Sightings by Police Officers 9/25/2014 

speculation about what the object was, since the sighting occurred in pre-dawn darkness and no surface details or structural features 
were seen. In the other two unknown cases the evidence is less substantial, one case having low credibility and other marginal 
strangeness. 

[[442]] 



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Condon Report, Case 15: Bright Planets Perceived as UFO's 



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Case 15 
South Mountain 
Winter 1967 
Investigator: Wadsworth 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Background 

A private observer had reported by telephone that for several months he had repeatedly seen in the west at evening a green light as 
large as a two-story building. Sometimes it appeared round, sometimes oblong. He reported that the object had been landing five to 
20 miles west of his house several times per week, in the period about 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Observing through binoculars, he had seen 
two rows of windows on a dome-shaped object that seemed to have jets firing from the bottom and that lit up a very large surrounding 
area. 

Investigation 

The investigator visited the site on a winter evening, 1967, arriving at the observer's home about 6:30 p.m. The observer pointed out 
as the object of his concern a bright planet 1 0-1 5 degrees above the western horizon. Wadsworth suggested that the object appeared 
to be a star or planet. (Both Venus and Saturn were visible about 1 .3 degrees apart, Venus being the brighter.) The observer agreed, 
saying that, had he not seen it on other occasions when it appeared much nearer and larger, he would have the same opinion. Also, 
he held to his description of the surface features that he claimed to have seen through the binoculars. His wife concurred with this 
statement, supporting his allusion to windows. It was suggested that some object other than a planet might have been involved, but no 
other bright light was visible in that area of the sky. 

The phenomena of scintillation and color change characteristic of light sources low on the horizon were described to the observer, and 
he seemed to accept the possibility that what he had seen was only a planet 

[[443]] 



seen under conditions unusual in his experience. Thus what he had observed, even with the binoculars, apparently had not been 
sufficiently clear to be conclusive to him. The possibility of a second object seems very unlikely, although at times he may have 
observed stars or planets other than the one he noted at this time. This possibility would account for the long period during which the 
sightings had occurred. 

Conclusion 

The reported "landings" apparently were the nightly settings of the planet. The glow around the "landed" object probably was the bright 
moonlit snowscape seen through the binoculars. The motion was described as always the same, a very gradual descent to the 
western horizon, where the object would "land" and shortly thereafter cut off its lights. It is believed that the alleged size, brightness, 
and surface features were largely imagined. 

The observer seemed quite sincere and curious; however, his description of the phenomena could not be considered scientifically 
reliable. He demonstrated an inadequate grasp of basic scientific information, and seemed unable to distinguish between objective 
observations and subjective impressions. 

[[444]] 



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Condon Report, Case 16: Low-Quality Radar Sightings 



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Case 16 
South Mountain 
Winter 1967 
Investigators: Van Arsdale, Hynek 



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Abstract: 

Daylight visual sightings of "silvery specks" overhead were reported, but pilots of aircraft sent to investigate saw nothing. Two radars 
concurrently detected several intermittent stationary targets in the reported area, and then a single target that moved slowly several 
minutes. Then it disappeared on one radar, and on the other described an approximately circular course at high speed. The visual 
sighting, and a later one, are impossible to evaluate. The radar targets are attributed to propagation anomalies, a balloon, and 
malfunction of one radar. 

Background: 

Reports of reliably witnessed visual and radar sightings in the vicinityof an Air Force base reached the project, leading to the decision 
to send an investigator there. It was arranged that Dr. Hynek, who was to be at the base on other business, should participate in the 
investigation. 

Investigation: 

The investigators examined the radar plots and talked with the base UFO officer, the Public Information Officer, and the radar 
operators who had reported the unidentified targets. From these inquiries, the following account developed. 

At 10:25 a.m. a young man telephoned the base UFO officer to report that he was seeing "silvery specks" passing overhead. During 
about 30 min., he had seen two or three groups of 30 to 40 such objects moving southwest. He was at a point (Point "1 ," Fig. I) in the 
mountains NE of the base. 

[[445]] 



Figure 1 
(Times/Locations of Sightings) 
Click on "thumbnail" image to see its full-size version. 

[[446]] 



The UFO officer finished his conversation with the witness at 1 0:50. He then had two aircraft sent to the reported location; but they 
reported nothing unusual 

He also asked range surveillance radar to seek the objects. (Being inexperienced in such investigations, he told the operators where 
to look, instead of simply asking them whether they had any unidentified targets). Only two surveillance radars were operating, one at 
Mission Control on the base and the other 35 mi. south. 

About 10:55 both radars plotted four objects about five miles south of the visual sighting, and a little later three other objects ("2" and 
"3" Fig. 1 ). All of these objects were intermittent, appearing sometimes on one sweep of the radar screen and not on the next, so that 
the radar tracking equipment could not "lock on" them; but they appeared to be stationary. 

Then at 1 1 :08 both radars plotted a slow-moving object at 25,000 ft. altitude, and tracked it ten minutes while it moved three or four 
miles eastward ("4" and "5" Fig. 1 ). At this point, at 1 1 :1 8 a.m., it disappeared from the south radar screen, while the radar at Mission 
Control showed it moving southward at Mach 1 .2. It continued approximately on a circular course centered on Mission Control radar, 
while both radars scanned clockwise. At 1 1 :21 .5 both radars showed two stationan/ obiects ("6" Fia. 1) that also flickered 



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Condon Report, Case 16: Low-Quality Radar Sightings 



intermittently. 



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IVIission Control radar continued to follow the fast-moving target on its circular course until it abruptly climbed to 80,000 ft. ("7" Fig. 1 ), 
and followed it on around to the north until it appeared to go out of range at 1 00,000 ft. altitude, at 1 1 :31 . 

During the tracking of the circular course, the operator stated that he thought the radar was not functioning properly. The UFO officer 
accordingly was advised that he should not consider the plotted tracks "firm and accurate." FAA radar did not confirm the circular 
track, and range-data radars were not operating, the following day, the radar supervisor reported that evaluation of the Mission Control 
radar record indicated that the instrument had plotted a noise track. Also, there exist unexplained discrepancies 

[[447]] 



of 5 to 15 mi. between the ranges of the various unidentified targets displayed on photographs of the radar plotting boards, compared 
with the written report issued by Mission Control the next day. Positions indicated on Fig. 1 are taken from the plots. 

An electronics technician reported that at 1 1 :20, while he was at location "8" (Fig. 1 ), he saw a saucer-shaped object moving rapidly 
away from him; it disappeared behind a nearby peak. His line of sight to the peak was approximately toward the point on the circular 
track traced at 1 1 :20 by Mission Control radar. 

Comment: 

With the limited information available, the two visual sighting reports are impossible to evaluate. The "silvery specks" could have been 
plant seeds of the type that float like parachutes, but such a suggestion is speculative. 

The radar observations offer a more substantial basis for analysis, since they involved two trained operators and instrument records 
(See also Section III Chapter 5). However, the UFO officer remarked that the men on duty during the sightings were second-line 
operators having little experience with "track" (surveillance) radar. As noted earlier, they were told to look for unidentified objects at a 
specified location and had perhaps in consequence found them there ("2" on Fig. 1 ). It appears probable that these intermittent, 
stationary targets were mirage-like glimpses of peaks or other high points that were just below the radar line of sight, and were 
brought into view sporadically by fluctuations in the atmospheric path. There is the strong implication that the operators noticed these 
"objects" at location 2 because they were directed to look for something there, and that they could have found similar targets at other 
points on the mountain landscape. In fact, they did just that, at locations "3" and "6" (Fig. 1). These observations appear to be similar 

[[448]] 



to some reported in other cases (e.g.. Case 35) in which operators of highly specialized radar equipment have failed to notice 
extraneous objects on their screens because they were intent on the targets that they had been assigned to track. They become 
aware of such commonplace objects only when a "UFO flap" has diverted them from routine procedure and encouraged them to look 
for anomalies. It should be noted that such a habit of ignoring irrelevant information in the perceptual field unless attention is directed 
to it is common in other instrument observations, and indeed in ordinary experience. It has accounted for many visual UFO reports. 

The slow-moving radar object ("4" and "5" on Fig. 1 ) was entirely compatible with a weather or research balloon drifting with the 
prevailing westerly winds. 

The evidence indicates that the circular track plotted on Mission Control radar, but not on the south screen, was an instrumental 
anomaly. The operator at Mission Control judged that the instrument was malfunctioning, and the subsequent evaluation by the civilian 
radar supervisory staff attributed the circular trace to a "noise track." Why the slowly-drifting object should have disappeared from both 
radars at nearly the same time is not clear. However, if it is assumed that the circular track represented a real object, then it is much 
more difficult to explain why the south screen never picked it up, even though it passed within seven miles of that station when the 
radar was working as attested by its plotting the targets at location "6." 

It is important to note that none of the radar targets exhibited motions agreeing even approximately with those reported in the two 
visual sightings. The "silvery specks" were moving southwest. The saucer-like object of the second sighting was moving "away from" 
the observer and disappeared behind the peak, which was ENE of him, while the radar "object" was moving south. Also, inspection of 
the contours of the region indicates that the radar "object" plotted at 25,000 ft. altitude would have been obscured by mountain ridges 
from the observer at location "6" 

[[449]] 



throughout at least 25° of azimuth to the north of the peak. 

This case is not fully clarified in all details; but the evidence indicates decisively that it is typical of many instances in which an initial 
sighting of dubious quality stimulates unusual attention and induces an expectant emotional state in which commonplace phenomena 
assume apparent significance. 

[[450]] 



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Condon Report, Case 16: Alamagordo Radar Sightings 



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Condon Report, Case 17: Claimed UFO Effect on Car, Plus Other Sightings 9/25/2014 

1 

Case 17 
South Mountain 
Spring 1967 
Investigator: Wadsworth 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

A youth reported that a large, glowing object approached his car and accompanied it more than twenty miles. He described apparent 
electromagnetic effects on his automobile. Investigation revealed neither a natural explanation to account for the sighting, nor sufficient 
evidence to sustain an unconventional hypothesis. 

Other reported sightings in the area were investigated without conclusive results. 
Background: 

The Primary Sighting 

On a night in the spring of 1967 an 18 year-old high school boy (Witness I) was returning from a first-aid class in town to his parents' 
home, a general store. He reported that shortly after 1 1:00 p.m., when he was three miles west of the town, he noticed an object high 
in the sky directly ahead of him. He compared its apparent size and brightness to an ordinary incandescent light bulb seen at about 
twenty feet, or a slow-moving ball of fire. As he continued, the object descended at an angle toward his left, closed on his automobile, 
and accompanied it at a distance and elevation he estimated at one hundred feet each. He estimated the dimensions of the object as 
approximately 30 by 1 00 feet. It was shaped like an inverted bowl, flat on the bottom and arched on top. No surface features were 
visible, only an overall glow that was blue at the top and blended gradually through cream color and orange to bright red at the bottom. 
At times he noticed a 

[[451]] 



white vapor associated with the object. The only other feature he noted was a periodic on-off manifestation of the glow. 

The witness also reported a sensation of intense heat coming from the object, such that he began perspiring profusely even with the 
car windows down. At this same time, the automobile engine began to sputter and miss, the radio and headlights went out, the 
ammeter indicated "discharge," and shortly aftenA/ard the temperature light indicated "hot." 

To see the road, he used a battery-powered spotlight that was independent of the car battery. It continued to function normally. He 
drove as rapidly as possible (50-60 mph) under the adverse conditions, and was paced the entire twenty-odd miles to his home. As 
he approached the family store, the object moved off ahead of him for the first time and stopped above the store as if to wait for him. 
As he turned in, the object blacked out and vanished into the darkness. 

The witness reported that after the incident his car never recovered. Its condition worsened continually until it was beyond repair. 
Investigation: 

Wadsworth investigated this and other reports in the area. Spring 1967. Although no unequivocal corroborating evidence was 
uncovered, testimony from a game warden who is regarded as highly reliable by area residents, provided possible corroboration. He 
reported having seen a round, reddish object in the sky a little later on the same evening. He was travelling the same stretch of the 
road that was involved in the sighting already described. The object he saw was so distant that its identity with the other is uncertain. 

Witness' automobile was monitored for high-energy radiation. Smear samples were analyzed for alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. 
Alpha and beta were at normal background levels, and gamma was a trace above; this result may relate to the presence of uranium 
deposits in the vicinity. The magnetization pattern of the automobile body was checked against a control auto and found to be normal. 

[[452]] 



The auto engine was found to be badly out of tune and in generally poor running condition. Unfortunately, it was impossible to 
determine whether any specific damages resulted from the effects of ordinary wear and tear. Nevertheless, the witness stated that his 
car was in good running condition before the incident. 

The route on which the sighting occurred was inspected under both day and night conditions. No physical evidence was found that 
could be related to the sighting; however, terrain and highway features were consistent with the witness' account. 

Additional Sightings. 

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After the initial report, additional sightings were reported in the area. Many of these were of marginal quality and insufficiently detailed 
to warrant further investigation. In a few cases, followup attempts were made. Most of the witnesses were Indians, who were difficult to 
locate because they live in remote places, and were extremely difficult to interview once found because they speak little English and 
are not familiar with such a procedure. It was thus almost impossible to obtain more than the barest details. 

The most useful materials obtained from these witnesses were their sketches of the objects they reported having seen. These 
sketches show a considerable range of variation, suggesting several types of objects. It should be noted that the Navajo appear to be 
unsophisticated as to UFOs. That is, they are less likely than a member of the general population to know what an UFO is reported to 
look like. Also, these reports cannot be assessed in terms of the same psychosocial dynamics that are appropriate to most UFO 
reports. 

Reported loss of (sic) UFO-caused power failures were checked with an official of the local Power Association. He stated that nothing 
out of the ordinary had been reported to him. In one case, an Indian witness reported loss of power at his cabin when an UFO landed 
nearby. 

Available Details of Additional Sightings. 
(1) Evening of the first sighting, 9:00 p.m.. Duration 2 min., two witnesses. 

[[453]] 




Witness Drawings 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 



(2) Following evening, 9:00 p.m., one witness. 

Object appeared to be 100 to 150 yards away. It was a reddish-white light, the apparent size of a car. There were lighted windows all 
around the edge. Fire coming from the bottom of the object left a trail; however, it left no evidence on the ground. The witness stopped 
his car and shut off his lights. When his lights went out, so did the lights of the object. It did not reappear. 




Witness Drawing 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[454]] 



(3) 14 da. after original sighting, 3:00-3:30 a.m., duration 2 minutes, one witness, estimated altitude, 150 feet; estimated size, 20 feet 
long; weather clear. 

Object had blue lights the color of a welding torch in a band around center. It was reddish at the bottom. It moved up and out, vanishing 
in the distance. 




Witness Drawings 



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2/3 



Condon Report, Case 17: Claimed UFO Effect on Car, Plus Other Sightings 9/25/2014 



Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

(4) 15 da. after original sighting, 11:20 p.m., duration 20 minutes. One witness. 

Witness was on duty as hoistman at the mine at time of sighting. Object approached the mine, hovered nearby, then departed rapidly 
at an upward angle. He reported that the incident so scared him that he was still shaking when he went home. 













J--~"til JH 




f I]U1T> 








.— -.igh-l- 








— bellow 




bluu 









Witness Drawing 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[455]] 



(5) 17 da. after original sighting, 9:S8 p.m., duration 5 minutes, three witnesses including witness VI above. 
Witness VI said the object looked very much like the one he had seen two nights previously. 




Witness Drawing 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

(6) Spring, 1967, night, duration 6 min. Two witnesses (IX and X). 

Witness IX was in his cabin when the lights went out. He put on his miner's light, went out to investigate, and saw an object on the 
ground near his cabin. He then went inside to get a rifle. When he came out again, he saw the object departing into the distance. The 
cabin lights came back on after the object had left. 




tLL-iC-Llt^ 

i-i-Thli^^ Can; 
I r::«ii Eoituv. 



Witness Drawing 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[456]] 



The above list is by no means inclusive of the sightings reported in the area. For example, the mother of the witness I reported two 
sightings of marginal quality. There were numerous others; but the investigation began three weeks after the primary sighting, and the 
signal-to-noise ratio was poor. 

Conclusion 

On the basis of available evidence, it is impossible to say whether or not the event reported is real. 

[[457]] 



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3/3 



Condon Report, Case 17: Drawings, 



Witnesses 2 & 3 



9/25/2014 




Witness II 



Object Covered 
With Fire 



Fire From 
Bottom 




Witness III 
(Same Object) 



UFO Drawings 

(Witnesses 2 & 3) 



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1/1 



Condon Report, Case 17: Drawing, Witness 4 



9/25/2014 







Windows 






Around 






Edge. 






Eire \ J 






from ^,>^ 






Bottom^ 1 J 




UFO Drawing 


(Witness 4) 



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1/1 



Condon Report, Case 17: Drawings, Witness 5 



9/25/2014 













^ r { \ 




' iyf \ ) 








^^^Z ( / 


\ 1 








Lights "'^ 


Side View Bottom View 




Witness V 



UFO Drawings 

(Witness 5) 

J 



http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/condonreport/full_report/csl7w5.htm 



1/1 



Condon Report, Case 17: Drawing, Witness 6 



9/25/2014 




Blue 

Light 
Blue 

Dark 
Blue 

Bright 
Light 

Orange & 
Yellow 



Witness VI 



Dark Blue 
Flashing 



UFO Drawing 

(Witness 6) 



J 



http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/condonreport/full_report/csl7w6.htm 



1/1 



Condon Report, Case 17: Drawing, Witness 6, 2 Nights Previous 



9/25/2014 











Y ' "■— — f-^ Blue 






White y / ^ 










UFO Drawing 


(Witness 6, Two Nights Previous) 



http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/condonreport/full_report/csl7w6p.htm 



1/1 



Condon Report, Case 17: Drawing, 



Witness 9 



9/25/2014 







Windows — — A. a v & \ 












J SnaJce-Like 






^ — — Thing Came 






/j from Bottom 






Witness IX 




UFO Drawing 


(Witness 9) 



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1/1 



Condon Report, Case 18: Plastic-Bag Hot Air Balloons 



9/25/2014 



Case 18 
South Mountain 
Spring 1967 
Investigators: Low, Wadsworth 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

Several reports of lights in the sky traveling slowly and emitting sparks as they disappeared were attributed to hot air balloons set off 
as a scientific experiment by neighborhood boys. 

Background: 

One night in the spring of 1 967 four hot air balloons were released by several college students. These balloons set off a small wave of 
UFO sightings. Accounts of some of the sightings were reported in local newspapers, and for several days the source of the objects 
was unknown except to the students who launched them. Because of the unexpected publicity, the students decided to come forth and 
give an account of the event to this project. 

This report is intended primarily to examine the degree of correspondence between the reports of the event and the event itself. A 
description of the event based on an interview with the students is presented, followed by report summaries of a number of the 
sightings. It should be noted that the students were not attempting to make careful observations when they launched the balloons. Their 
accounts were somewhat general and lacking in details. 

Description of Event as reported by Students 

Four balloons of the type recently publicized in various news media and magazines were released. These balloons consisted of 
plastic dry-cleaners' suit covers, sealed at the top and held open at the bottom by crossed drinking straws attached to the edge of the 
opening. Hot air was generated by a clusterof birthday candles 

[[458]] 



mounted along the straws where they crossed nearthe center of the opening. 

The first balloon was launched at 9:1 5 p.m. There was no ground wind, and the sky was clear except for scattered patches of thin 
haze. This balloon did not travel far from the launching site. It went up a fairly short distance and then went out. The object appeared to 
the students to be larger than a star. Duration of the event was estimated at five to ten minutes. 

By 1 0:00 o'clock, three more balloons were ready and were launched one after another. They appeared to maintain three different 
altitudes as they rose, and showed some flickering, growing dim and then brightening up again. The balloons quickly became 
unrecognizable as balloons and showed only as fire-colored lights. The plastic envelopes were faintly visible as dim shapes. The lights 
appeared the size of bright stars or larger. 

One of the most obvious features of the event was the triangular formation that the balloons assumed upon gaining altitude. This 
triangle endured for some minutes; then upper level winds apparently began to take the balloons in different directions. The lower one 
drifted apart and went out. Duration of the entire event was estimated at 20 to 25 minutes. 

Summaries of Observers' Reports: 

1. Time: 9:15 p.m. 

Observers: mathematics professor and wife. 
Location: 0.25 mile WSW of launch site. 

Description: gold or orange-yellow light, larger than a star but smaller than a dime at arm's length, brighter than anything else in 
the sky; through binoculars, observers could see an area of "stronger density" adjacent to the light source. Direction and 
disappearance: object first seen at an elevation of 45o in the east; began moving north, receded toward the east and faded out. 

Duration: 5 minutes 

[[459]] 



2. Time: 9:15 p.m. 

Observers: language professor and public school teacher. 



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Condon Report, Case 18: Plastic-Bag Hot Air Balloons 9/25/2014 

1 

Location: 0.4 mile ENE of launch site. 

Description: orange-yellow object larger than a star, smaller than a plane (which passed by at the time) but larger than the lights 
of the plane. 

Direction and disappearance: object stopped, light varied and seemed to fizzle out, sparks dropped and light disappeared. 
Duration: 10 minutes 

3. Time: 9:15 p.m. 
Observers: two students 
Location: Same as (2) above. 

Description: gold-yellow object, little larger than a star, first thought it was a satellite. 

Direction and disappearance: object was first seen slightly south of west and moving slowly eastward toward observers. Object 
came nearly overhead, dimmed, brightened, emitted sparks and went out. 

Duration: 5 minutes 

4. Time: 10:00 p.m. 
Observers: two women. 

Location: 0.7 mile ENE of launch site. 

Description: three lights in triangular formation; two on left were yellowish, one on right was reddish. Objects were about the size 
of a star when first seen, but grew larger as they moved toward the observers. Other people in the parking lot seemed not to 
notice the objects. 

Direction and disappearance: Objects were first seen in southwest at about 45 to 60o elevation. They then seemed to move 
north, shifting from the triangle to a vertical line formation and rising. Observers left while objects were still visible. The objects 
seemed to have moved back to their original positions and become smaller. 

Duration: 15 minutes 

[[460]] 



5. Time: 10:05 p.m. 

Observers: fine arts professor and wife. 
Location: 0.7 mile SE of launch site. 

Description: three red or pink lights in triangular formation at 45° elevation. Size and speed compared to Echo satellite. 

Direction and disappearance: Objects first observed in northwest, then began to move southeast and shift from triangle to 
straight line formation. Movement continued till objects were approximately overhead and seemed to stop. Then one went south 
and went out, one north and went out, and one west and went out. 

Duration: 15 minutes 

6. Time: 10:13 p.m. 

Observer: chemical research assistant. 
Location: 0.5 mile ESE of launch site. 

Description: three lights like large stars in the form of a triangle. One appeared red, the others orange. 

Direction and disappearance: objects were overhead and somewhat to the south when first seen. One moved to the southeast 
and disappeared in haze. One stayed overhead, then flickered, moved west, and blinked out. One arched away to the east and 
disappeared. 

Duration: 5 minutes 

7. Time: 10:00-10:30 p.m. 
Observer: man. 

Location: 0.4 mile SE of launch site. 



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2/4 



Condon Report, Case 18: Plastic-Bag Hot Air Balloons 



9/25/2014 



Description: three yellow-orange lights in a rough line formation. Appeared as dull glowing objects with haze around them. 
Observer thought they were small and low. 

Direction and disappearance: objects were seen first in the northwest at an elevation of about 35o. Motion was southward, slow 
and haphazard. The first one continued to move south. The second two passed nearby overhead, seemed to move closer 
together, and drifted away to the southwest. 

Duration: 5-10 minutes 

[[461]] 



8. Time: 10:40 p.m. 
Observer: astronomer. 

Location: 1 .0 mile SW of launch site. 

Description: One object visible low in the east, yellow-orange and glowing continuously except several times when it dimmed. It 
was about 2nd or Srd stellar magnitude, and 10°-I5° above eastern horizon. Through binoculars it remained visible only as a 
point of light. 

Direction and disappearance: Position when first viewed was about 10° north of east and 10-15° above horizon. Motion was very 
slow and difficult to determine, because of the lack of nearby reference stars. 

Duration: 3-5 minutes 

9. Tine: 10-10:15 p.m. 
Observer: man. 

Location: about 300 yards SE of launch site. 

Description: two bright lights seen through the curtains of observers apartment. From outside, they looked like blimps with fire at 
one end, and were one-quarter to one-half the apparent size of full moon. A third similar object appeared shortly after the first 
two. 

Direction and disappearance: the first two appeared at 30-40° elevation in the northwest and drifted to an overhead position, 
where they separated and diminished with increasing altitude. The third behaved similarly. 

Duration: 10-20 minutes 

[[462]] 



Table 4 

COMPARISON OF REPORTS IN TERMS OF DESCRIPTIVE CHARACTERISTICS 

STUDENTS' ACCOUNT OBSERVERS' REPORTS 



LAUNCH 9:15 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 9:15 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 

TIME 

SIZE Larger than a star Size of large star or larger 1. Larger than a star 4. Star 

2. Larger than a star 5. Echo satellite 

3. Larger than a star 6. Star 

7. Size not given 

8. 2nd or 3rd Magnitude 
star 

9. % or diameter of full 
moon, (observer could 
see the plastic 
envelope as well as the 
light, and his size 
estimate referred to the 
whole balloon) 



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Condon Report, Case 18: Plastic-Bag Hot Air Balloons 



9/25/2014 



bHAHb hirst Visible as balloon; hirst visible as balloons; 

diminished to point source diminisiied to point sources 



1. Point source liglit 
(accompanied by area 
of density) 

2. Point source liglit 

3. Point source light 



4. Point source light 

5. Point source light 

6. Point source light 

7. Point source (dull glow) 
with haze 

8. Point source light 

9. Like a blimp with fire at 
one end 



COLOR 



Fire-colored 



Fire-colored 



1. Gold/orange-yellow 

2. Orange-yellow 

3. Cold-yellow 



4. Yellow/red 

5. Red or pink 

6. Red/orange 

7. Yellow-orange 

8. Yellow-orange 

9. "Fire"-colored 



FORMATION Single object Balloons assumed 4. Triangular 

OF OBJECTS triangular formation, then ^ ^. 

dispersed. 5- Triangular 

6. Triangular 



7. Line 

8. Only one object seen by 
observer 

9. Objects close to 
observer; formation not 
noticed 



[[463]] 



Conclusions 

A comparison of the event as described by the launchers with the reports of accidental witnesses reveals obvious similarities 
regarding size, shape, color, and relative positions of the objects. Taking into consideration the known inconsistencies inherent in 
most eyewitness testimony, the degree of similarity between the reports is noteworthy, especially since times of observations and 
locations of observers were not the same. Certain dissimilarities should be noted. For example, observer IX was located very near 
balloons. However, he was not able to identify the objects; nor did he mention the triangular configuration reported by other witnesses, 
probably because the objects seemed more scattered, suggesting separateness rather than relatedness. It is interesting to note the 
tendency of observers to give more detailed accounts of the event than the launchers themselves gave. 

The sightings all occurred within approximately one mile of the launch site. With two exceptions, the balloons were first observed in the 
direction of the launch site. The exceptions were sighting number 6, in which case they are nearly overhead when first seen; and 
number 8, when only one object remained visible. In three other cases the balloons were reported as being overhead or nearly so at 
some time during the observations. These three sightings (5, 7, and 9) along with number 6 are all located in the southeast quadrant of 
the sighting area, indicating that the balloons drifted southeast. It should be pointed out that the balloons also were moving relative to 
each other, and it was this motion that the students and most witnesses referred to in their accounts. The limited area of sightings is 
probably characteristic of cases involving these balloons, and could be considered along with the slow aimless drifting, the flickering, 
and the red-orange color as identifying evidence in future cases. 

In summary, we have a number of reports that are highly consistent with one another, and those differences that do occur are no 
greater than would be expected from situational and perceptual differences. 

[[464]] 



Many small discrepancies could be pointed out, especially with regard to estimates of distance and direction, but these are not great 
enough to affect the overall impression of the event. 

It would be expected that a survey of witnesses' speculations about the nature of the objects would have shown much greater 
divergence, but this report is confined to observational data. 

[[465]] 



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4/4 



Condon Report, Case 19: Psychic Prediction of UFO Landing 



9/25/2014 



Case 19 
South Mountain 
Spring 1967 
Investigator: Wadsworth 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

A project investigator was at the site of a predicted UFO landing. The landing did not occur. 
Background: 

This investigation was made in response to a unique sighting prediction based on alleged telepathic contacts with UFOs. The 
prediction came from a man who claims to have psychic abilities. He declared that his past predictions had been accurate, and he 
was confident that this one would produce positive results, specifically an UFO landing at a racetrack on a given day at 1 1:00 a.m. 

On the night before leaving for the site, Wadsworth telephoned the predictor to get any additional information he might have. He 
confirmed the exact time and location of the predicted landing and stated that he had received "a very strong indication" that the event 
would occur. He assured us that we would not be disappointed. The purpose, he claimed, was "just to show us" that UFOs are real. 
He said that only one "saucer" would appear. 

Investigation: 

Wadsworth was met in the state capital city by two officers of the highway patrol. Patrol cars and a small aircraft were provided for the 
trip to the site. 

Weather in the capital was clear; however, a squall front was moving into the racetrack area. When the party arrived at the racetrack at 
10:15 a.m., the weather was still clear. The patrol plane was circling overhead. Wadsworth decided that the best place to wait would 
be the center of the large circular track. (There are two tracks at the raceway: one is straight and runs NW-SE; and adjacent to it is a 
large circular track which, as seen from the air, 

[[466]] 



would be a possible target area.) Before landing the plane, the pilot directed the patrol car to the center of the circle by radio. The 
predictor had been very definite about 1 1 :00 as the time for the event to occur. In his own words, the UFO would appear exactly at 
11:00 a.m. 

At 1 1 :00 nothing unusual was noted. The front was still moving in; rain began at 12:00 noon. At 12:30 p.m. the group left the area. 

[[467]] 



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1/1 



Condon Report, Case 20: Owls IP's as Source of Beeping Sounds 



9/25/2014 



Case 20 
North Pacific 
Spring 1967 
Investigators: Craig, Wadsworth 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

Reports of "beeping" sounds emanating apparently from invisible aerial sources were identified with the calls of small owls. 
Background: 

Spring 1 967 this project received word that a state Department of Civil Defense had been investigating an unidentified sound in an 
area of the state. Wadsworth telephoned the same day to obtain more complete information about the sound, and to determine 
whether it might be connected with UFOs. 

The investigation was being conducted by the warning officer and communications coordinator for the state's Department of Civil 
Defense, who gave further information. He described the sound as a repetitious beeping signal of practically unvarying period and 
pitch that had been heard regularly from the same location for a period of several weeks, continuing for hours at a time without 
interruption. The most puzzling aspect of the sound was the lack of any visible source. Witnesses had approached the apparent 
location, only to find that the sound seemed to come from directly overhead. This location was at the top of a hill in a wooded area to 
which access was difficult. However, local interest in the sound was so high that many individuals had hiked into the area to hear it. 
The sound reportedly began at 8:00 p.m. PST each night, and continued until 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. 

Other aspects that the Civil Defense official reported were: The sound had been heard for about three weeks. It had been heard as far 
as two miles away from its apparent source. A similar sound (believed by some to be from the same source) had been received on a 
police patrol car radio at 150 megacycles while the sound was 

[[468]] 



being heard by persons in the above-mentioned area; visual UFO sightings had been reported in the general area of the sound during 
the same period. One sighting reported by two police officers and several FAA men occurred two days before the reported onset of 
the sound. A disc-shaped object was reportedly sighted passing overhead beneath an overcast ceiling of 1 ,000 feet. The sound did 
not alter perceptibly when people were in the area, even though they made noise, shone lights, or fired guns. When local time shifted 
from standard to daylight, the nightly time of onset also shifted an hour, indicating that the sound was oriented to real time, not clock 
time. The periodicity of the sound was approximately two beeps per second. Sometimes the sound source seemed to move as much 
as a quarter of a mile from its usual location in a few seconds, sometimes silently, sometimes beeping as it moved. One explanation 
for the sound that had been put forth was that it was the call of either a pygmy or a saw-whet owl, both of which are found in that area 
and emit calls similar to the reported sound. 

A similar unidentified sound had been recorded elsewhere. Wadsworth took a tape recording of the sound under investigation and the 
other sound to an expert on bird calls. His opinion was that the latter was probably a saw-whet owl. The former, however, seemed 
unlike any bird or animal he had heard, although he could not be certain without knowing what distortions had been introduced by the 
tape recordings. 

A decision whether to send out a field team was suspended until more could be learned about investigations already in progress. Any 
connection between the reported sounds and UFOs was speculation, and continued visual observations at the site of the sound had 
revealed nothing significant. 

During the following week, significant new developments were reported. Sounds identical to that near the original location had been 
heard in other locations in the state. 

The Civil Defense informant reported unusual animal reactions 

[[469]] 



in some cases. Frogs, which were numerous and loud in the area, had all become silent 10-20 seconds before onset of the sound, 
suggesting that they might be sensing some kind of energy other than the audible sound. At other times, the cows and dogs in the 
area had suddenly shown marked excitement, and then become suddenly quiet. In one instance, this pattern had been repeated three 
times before the beeping began. 

On another occasion, a man whose house was at the bottom of the hill where the sound seemed to originate had been frightened by 
the sound, which he said came suddenly down from the hill and continued beeping loudly just above his house. He was standing in the 
yard, and the sound was so eerie that he could "take it" for only a few minutes before going into the house. 



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1/3 



Condon Report, Case 20: Owls IP's as Source of Beeping Sounds 9/25/2014 

1 

The Civil Defense coordinator felt that he was at an impasse, and urged that a team from this project be sent to investigate. 
Investigation 

Spring 1967, Craig and Wadsworth went with three primary objectives: 

1 . to gather more information on the sound phenomenon and to experience it directly; 

2. to obtain instrumented measurements, if possible; 

3. to check for possible correlative visual sightings in the areas involved. 

When the team arrived, they met with the Civil Defense coordinator and staff to plan the investigation. It was decided what area would 
be the best location for a thorough surveillance of the sound, and a base was set up in a barn about a mile below the hilltop where the 
sound was usually heard. 

Stereo tape equipment was set up in the barn, and microphones were located about a quarter of a mile apart. The sound usually had 
been clearly audible at this location. 

It was learned that, although the beeps had been loud in all kinds of weather, there was a considerably better chance of hearing them 
on a clear night. It was also reported that on some occasions the sound was very faint and of such short duration that no accurate 

[[470]] 



location could be determined. It was not clear whether the occasions of fainter sound were due to distance or to a real drop in volume. 

Equipment taken to the more inaccessible field site included: portable tape recorder; directional ultra-sonic translator; military infrared 
sniper scope; directional microphone audio detector ("snooperscope"); cameras loaded with infrared, ultraviolet, and conventional 
high-speed film; and two-way portable radios for communication with the operating base at the barn. 

Shortly before the advance group reached the top of the hill (an hour's climb through steep, heavily forested terrain), the sound was 
heard. It lasted not more than 10 seconds and seemed to come from a direction different from its usual location. The team's subjective 
impression was that it sounded like a bird. 

Throughout the night, and until 5:00 a.m., the sound was heard faintly eight or ten times for a few seconds each time. It did not seem to 
originate from directly overhead at anytime, and the apparent direction and distance varied considerably. Part of this series was 
recorded on tape, but the sound was of low amplitude and brief duration. It was never heard at the main base below, so no high-quality 
tape was obtained. 

Descriptions of an earlier observation had related that the sound had come from the top of a tall tree, then left the tree top and circled 
around it when someone climbed the tree. Although no bird had been seen in the darkness at the apparent source of the sound, and 
this description was similar in this respect to the farmer's account of the descent of the beeping source from the distant hill and its 
circling over his farm yard, such behavior certainly seemed owl-like. However, since the field team had heard only brief and distant 
emissions of the sound, they could not positively identify it. 

Early the next evening, this team drove to a second site. The weather was rainy. Perhaps a dozen other cars were parked or cruising 
slowly by the area. The team heard no beeping sound during two hours of waiting. 

The following morning, the team telephoned the county 

[[471]] 



Sheriff's office, which had been handling the local investigation to ask whether the sound had been heard during the previous night. 
They were told that a bird had been shot by a farmer who lived adjacent to the second location. He had told the sheriff that, when the 
sound began the night before, he had gone out with a light and gun, shot the bird while it was beeping, and brought it in as evidence. 

The owl was identified as a saw-whet by a local biology teacher. Despite this identification, some local persons expressed skepticism 
that the dead owl had been the source of sounds that they believed to be too constant in pitch and period to be generated by a bird. 
They questioned whether the farmer, who had been subjected to much harassment by the public, might not have produced the owl, 
hoping to put an end to these difficulties. 

Tape recordings of the sound, made both before and during the project investigation, were later analyzed sonographically and 
compared with sonograms of recorded calls known to have been made by pygmy, saw-whet, and ferruginous owls. The original 
comparison was made with calls recorded in Peterson's Field Guide to Western Bird Calls. Later, other recordings of these calls were 
obtained from Cornell University's Laboratory of Ornithology. The comparisons showed the same sound structure, pitch, and period for 
the unidentified sound and for the saw-whet owl. Fewer overtones were displayed on the sonogram of the unidentified sound, but this 
difference probably was due to lack of sufficient amplitude and recorder frequency range limitations. It was concluded that the 
recorded unidentified sound was made by a saw-whet owl. 

Conclusions 



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Condon Report, Case 20: Owls IP's as Source of Beeping Sounds 9/25/2014 

None of the reported visual sightings of UFOs in the vicinity was impressive enough to warrant more intensive investigation. While the 
project investigators could not be certain that owls accounted for all of the unidentified sounds reported from various areas of the 
state, they felt confident that the audible beeping was unrelated to visual sightings of UFOs, and that owls certainly accounted for most 
of the beeping sounds. The latter conclusion was 

[[472]] 



based upon: 

1 . The correspondence between sonograms of the unidentified sound and of the beeping of a saw-whet owl; 

2. Testimony that the dead saw-whet owl had been shot while making the beeping sound; 

3. The fact that the locations and movements of the reported apparent sources were typical of those expected of owls. 

The small size of the saw-whet owl (about six inches long) may account for the difficulty observers had in seeing it, thus allowing them 
to conclude that the sound came from a point in space that was not occupied by a physical object. 

[[473]] 



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3/3 



Condon Report, Case 21: Airport Radar Sighting 



9/25/2014 



Case 21 
South Mountain (location A) 
Spring 1967 
Investigators: Low, Rush 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

Operators of two airport radars reported that a target equivalent to an aircraft had followed a commercial flight in, overtaken it, and 
passed it on one side, and proceeding at about 200 knots until it left the radar field. No corresponding object was visible from the 
control tower. On the basis of witnesses' reports and weather records, explanations based on anomalous atmospheric propagation or 
freak reflection from other objects appear inadequate. The case is not adequately explained despite features that suggest a reflection 
effect (See Section III Chapter 6). 

Background: 

A radar traffic controller (Witness A) at an AF installation that serves as an airport for a nearby city (location A), telephoned the 
Colorado Project in the middle of May, 1967 to report an unexplained radar anomaly. The report was referred to Dr. Donald H. Menzel 
for comment, and Witness A and three other witnesses were interviewed at various times. The information so obtained is summarized 
in the next section. 

Investigation: 

Witness A, an air traffic controller of 20 years' experience, reported the following observations. At about 4:40 p.m., he and three other 
men were in the IFR (radar) room at the airfield. Two radars were in use: azimuth surveillance radar (ASR), used for early detection of 
arriving aircraft, and precision approach radar (PAR), used to monitor both azimuth and elevation of an aircraft approaching the 
runway (Fig. 2). 

The controllers were monitoring the approach of a commercial Boeing 720. They got him onto the correct azimuth and glide path 

[[474]] 



Figure 2: ILS Runway Diagram 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[475]] 



just as he broke through the 3,000 ft. ceiling about four miles from the radar receiver. Another commercial flight, a Viscount, showed 
on the surveillance radar about six mi. behind the 720. About the time the 720 appeared in the field of the precision radar, operated by 
Witness A, he noticed a very faint target on the elevation (glide path) screen about two mi. behind the 720. He adjusted the sensitivity 
of the instrument, and the unknown target became visible on the azimuth screen also. It appeared to be following the 720 on the glide 
path. 

When the 720 had advanced about one mi.. Witness A asked the operator of the surveillance radar. Witness B, whether he had the 
unidentified target; he did. Witness A then reported the object to the Viscount crew, about four mi. behind it. They saw nothing, though 
visibility under the overcast was 25-30 mi. He then reported the object to the visual control tower; but none of the three controllers there 
could see anything to account for it, even with binoculars. At this point, the departure scope man (the surveillance radar had duplicate 
screens for monitoring arrivals and departures) and the arrival data position man walked over to observe the precision scope. The 
target showed with equal clarity on both the elevation and azimuth screens. The unidentified object was overtaking the 720, and was 
about 0.25 mi. behind as the 720 passed the approach lighting system. At that point, the object pulled over, moved eastward, passed 
the Boeing on its right side, and continued on a parallel course at 200 ft. altitude and some 300 ft. east of the runway, until it passed 
out of the field of the precision scope. Unfortunately, no one thought to see whether the object appeared on the surveillance radar 
departure scope. At disappearance, it was about 1-1 .5 mi. from the control tower. The controllers in the tower never saw anything to 
account for the target. 



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The Viscount came in normally on the radar, with nothing following. Its crew reported after landing that they had not at anytime during 
the approach seen anything between them and the 720. 



[[476]] 



Witness A observed that the 720 had not been visible as far out as six mi., where the "bogie" first appeared. It looked like an aircraft 
target, though weaker than usual, and became quite clear as it came nearer. He commented also that the bogie followed the correct 
procedure for an overtaking aircraft, and that, if a pilot is practicing an instrument approach but does not want to touch down, his 
prescribed procedure is to level off and cross the field at 200 ft., as the bogie appeared to do on the radar. In fact, the object showed 
the flight characteristics of a Century series jet fighter (F-lOO, F-104, etc.), making an approach at a speed of 200-250 knots. However, 
such a jet makes a great deal of noise, and should have been heard even in the glass-enclosed tower. 

Witness A was interviewed in detail when he first telephoned the project in Spring 1 967, and questioned further on various aspects at 
several later dates. Other witnesses unfortunately were not contacted until Fall 1968. 

Witness B, who had been monitoring the surveillance radar approach scope, was unable to recall details of the incident. He 
remembered only that it was "an odd thing" ~ a radar target, but nothing visual. 

Witness C was a controller of 15 years' experience, 1 1 on radar, who had been in the radar room when the sighting occurred, and had 
watched it on the precision scope. He recognized the difficulty in remembering accurately after such a time interval, but felt that his 
memory for the key details was good. He had been deeply impressed by the incident, and had discussed it with Witness A and others 
on various occasions. 

He confirmed the account of Witness A in almost all respects. He was not certain that the bogie had come in on the ILS glide path 
which is indicated by a line on the elevation screen of the precision radar); it was following the Boeing and must have been on or near 
the glide path. Witness A had stated that the bogie overtook and passed the 720 at about the approach end of the runway. Witness C, 
however, recalled that the bogie had overtaken the 720 and flown alongside "like a wingman" (i.e., slightly behind and to the 

[[477]] 



right of the 720) for one or two miles before touchdown. Then, about a half mile from the runway, it had "pulled up" and flown on ahead. 
The 720's approach speed was about 140 knots. 

Witness C emphasized that the bogie target was indistinguishable from an aircraft. He said that, if the bogie had appeared ahead of 
the 720, he would not have hesitated to warn the 720 off the approach. 

He noted also that the surveillance radar was an old, faulty instrument that sometimes missed targets that were known to be in the 
field. 

Witness D was a controller in the tower during the incident. He remembered that the radar crew phoned about the bogie; the tower 
men looked and saw the 720 coming in, but nothing else, even with binoculars. The conditions were such that he was confident that no 
such aircraft as the radars indicated could have come in without the tower crew having seen it. 

Weather: 

The report of the project's consulting meteorologist follows: 

Following is a brief summary covering the weather situation near . . . [the airfield in location A] at and near 1640 MDT ... [in 
the middle of\ May... 1967: 

SOURCES OF DATA 

Hourly surface observations from - ... [Location A, location B, location C, location D, location E, location F] 

Two and three hourly data from - ... [Location C, location H, location I] 

Winds aloft and radiosonde data for ... [location D], at 12:00 noon and 6:00 P.M. MDT. 

GENERAL WEATHER SITUATION 

The general weather situation prevailing in ... [the general area] was a condition of drizzle and fog with low ceilings at most 
all stations east 

[[478]] 



of ... [location H]. Amounts of precipitation were generally light but the drizzle and fog continued for many hours at most 
stations. 

Shortly after noon colder air moved in from a northerly direction in a layer from 1000 to 5000 feet above the surface. At ... 
[location D] the drop in temperature measured between the noon and 6:00 P.M. radiosondes was between 5o and 6o F. in 



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Condon Report, Case 21: Airport Radar Sighting 



this layer. This drop in cloud layer temperatures was accompanied by increasing winds near the surface. At 2:30 P.M. 
gustiness at ... [location Dl reached 30 knots. Similar increases in wind velocities began later at ... [location A, location B, 
location E, and location J]. Some snow and snow pellets fell at various stations as this mixture of colder air took place. 



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1 



MOST PROBABLE WEATHER AT 1640 MDT AT ... [THE] AIRFIELD 

Two layers of scattered clouds, at 900 and 2400 feet respectively, would have been moving rapidly from north to south in 
an airflow having surface winds averaging nearly 30 mph. It occurred at 1630 MDT. Gustiness of 8-10 additional miles per 
hour was occurring at this time. A layer of overcast cloudiness was estimated at 4000 feet above the station. Visibility was 
greater than 15 miles. 

A condition of very light drizzle had ended at 1530 MDT and light snow pellets began at 1710 MDT. The differences in 
surface temperatures was only lo (34 to 33) indicating that the greatest amount of change was taking place in the air at 
cloud level. 

The snow pellets which began at 1 71 0 MDT and intermittent snow showers continued past midnight. It is well known that 
water and ice surfaces mixed together inside clouds tend to intensify radar echo causing bright spots or bright lines to 
appear. 

[[479]] 



The snow pellets would have produced an increased intensity of the radar echoes in some small shower areas. Although 
snow pellets were not occurring at the station at 1 640 MDT it is highly probable that some were in the vicinity. 

Total amounts of precipitation were light. Only .03 inch was measured in the 24 hours ending at midnight. 

At the same time that snow pellets and snow showers were observed at ... [the airfield, location B] reported no 
precipitation. 

SUMMARY 

It is my opinion that fragmentary segments of two layers of scattered clouds moving at variable speeds beneath a solid 
overcast would have given a rapidly changing sky condition to any observer at or near the airport. Reflection of any lights 
could have caused greater or lesser brightness to the under surfaces of some of these scattered clouds. The strong gusty 
winds were not only capable of moving the clouds rapidly but could have carried some light substances, such as paper to 
an elevation similar to the lower cloud height. The shafts of snow pellets at a mile or more away from the base may have 
caused some distortion of visibility in directions concentrated to the west and northwest of the field. 

Hypotheses: 

Anomalous targets on radar generally are caused by instrumental defects, birds, anomalous atmospheric propagation (e.g. mirage 
effects), out-of-phase echoes, or multiple reflections. Instrumental defects appear to be eliminated in this case, since the bogie was 
seen consistently on the surveillance radar and both the azimuth and elevation beams of the precision radar. The speed of the bogie, 
its radar intensity, and the course it followed all appeared inconsistent with a bird. 

[[480]] 



Neither did this anomalyshowany of the typical characteristics of the "angels" caused by anomalous propagation; moreover, weather 
data indicate no inversion was present. Both witnesses A and C had had many years of experience with all the usual types of 
anomalies. The fact that they were mystified by the phenomenon and considered it worth reporting indicates that it was an uncommon 
effect. 

Sometimes a distant, strong reflector may return a radar echo so long delayed that it arrives after a second pulse has been emitted. It 
will therefore appear at a spuriously short range. This possibility appears to be precluded by the different pulse frequencies of the 
surveillance and precision radars (1000 and 5500 per sec, respectively), and by the behavior of the bogie, which appeared to relate it 
to the Boeing 720. 

There remains the possibility of multiple reflections. After reviewing a report of the incident, Menzel suggested that the bogie had been 
produced by reflection of radar energy from the 720 to a fairly efficient reflector on the ground, back to the 720, and thence to the radar 
receiver. The superfluous echo would have appeared on the line of sight from radar antenna to aircraft, and beyond the aircraft the 
same distance as that from aircraft to reflector. Meuzel suggested that a structure involving a cube-corner - e.g., a steel dump-truck 
body ~ might act as a rather efficient reflector. 

This hypothesis would explain some aspects of the observations. The bogie appeared about two miles behind the 720 when it was 
about four miles out, and gained on it at a rate roughly equal to the airplane's own ground speed of about 120 knots, as would be 
expected. This would imply that the reflector was about two miles ahead of the 720, which would place it about half a mile south of the 
approach end of the runway. The bogie then should have overtaken the 720 at that point. 

Witness A said that it was about 0.25 mi. behind the 720 as the latter reached the approach light system; that would place the 

[[481]] 



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reflector approximately at the approach end of the runway. Witness C, however (a year and a half after the incident), stated that the 
bogie caught up with the 720 "one or two miles" before touchdown, flew alongside, and pulled ahead about a half mile from the 
runway. That would place the reflector about 0.5 to 1 .5 mi. south of the runway, differing by as much as a mile from the location 
resulting from Witness A's account. 

So far, so good. Men who were a bit excited, or trying to remember details after such an interval, might differ by a mile in their 
estimates, particularly since the range scale on the precision radar scope is logarithmic. Incidentally, half a mile from the runway the 
elevation of the ILS glide path was about 200 ft. - the elevation at which the bogie appeared to overfly the field. 

However, a target produced by such a delayed reflection would not have appeared on the glide path. In elevation, the glide path was a 
line rising at an angle of 2.7o from the ILS transmitter 7,300 ft. south of the precision radar antenna. The line of sight from the radar to 
the Boeing four miles out thus intersected the glide path at a substantial angle, so the bogie reflection, seen on the radar line of sight, 
would have appeared about 0.25 in. below the line marking the glide path on the radar scope. It does not seem likely that an 
experienced controller would have failed to notice a discrepancy amounting to some 200 ft. in elevation that if not corrected would 
have been disastrous to an aircraft. 

The shift of the unidentified object to the right as it overtook the 720 can be partially explained. If it is assumed that the bogie was a 
secondary echo from a reflector near the runway, then the bogie would have been always the same distance behind the 720 as the 
reflector in front of it, and would have appeared on the line of sight from the precision radar antenna to the 720. Since the antenna was 
about 400 ft. east of the runway, the bogie would have appeared projected to the west of the approach track. Its apparent course 
would have been a gradual swerve to its right. 

However, the bogie would have nearly coincided with the radar image of the 720 as it passed low over the reflector; and immediately 

[[482]] 



thereafter, as the 720 passed beyond the reflector, the bogie would have stopped its fonA/ard motion and moved laterally to the west. 
This hypothetical behavior contrasts sharply with the statements of witnesses A and C, both of whom insisted that the bogie moved 
over and passed the 720 on the right (east), and that it continued on that course, ahead of the airplane, until it left the radar field. 

The case is therefore not satisfactorily explained. In general, the association of the unidentified target with the 720 and the lack of a 
visible counterpart suggest strongly that it was a radar artifact. Yet the details of its course can be reconciled with the reflector 
hypothesis only by discounting the accuracy of reports by observers who were intimately familiar with the context in which they were 
working. 

[[483]] 



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CONTROL 
TOWER 

2300 FT 



870 FT. 



|400 FT. 



SURVEILLANCE 
RADAR ANTENNA 



PRECtSION 
+RADAR ANTENNA 



ILS RUNWAY 



GLIDE PATH 
^TRANSMITTER 
\ REPORTEO TRACT 
^*o^^ OF BOGIE 



ii 



BOGIE 

^ ■t- 0— — \- (J^-«^-0 



APPROACH 
LIGHT 



B-720 



h ^ 



Figure 2. 
ILS Runway Diagram 



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Condon Report, Case 22: Claim of UFO Landing 



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Case 22 
North Central 
Spring 1967 
Investigator: Craig 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

A weekend prospector claimed that a "flying saucer" landed near him in the woods, and that when he approached the object and 
touched it with his gloved hand, it soared away, its exhaust blast leaving a patterned burn on his abdomen and making him ill. 

Events during and subsequent to a field search for the landing site cast strong doubt upon the authenticity of the report. 

Background: 

A 50-year-old industrial mechanic (Mr. A) claimed to have observed two UFOs while prospecting in the North Central area. The 
reported time of the sighting was about 12:12 p.m., CDT. 

According to Mr. A, his attention was distracted by the squawking of nearby geese. He looked up and saw two disc-shaped objects 
descending together from the SW at an angle of 15°-20° above the horizon. One stopped 10-12 ft. above the ground; the other 
continued downward, and landed on the flat top of a rock outcropping 1 60 ft. from Mr. A. The objects had domes and were about 40 ft. 
in diameter. They had flown three or four diameters apart, keeping a constant distance. The first object hovered in the air (one of Mr. 
A's accounts says it hovered about 1 5 ft. above him) for about three minutes, then ascended in the same direction from which it had 
come, changing color from bright red to orange to grey and back to bright orange as it disappeared in the distance. It moved 
noiselessly, much faster than airplane speeds. 

When Mr. A turned his attention to the landed craft, it, too, was changing color from glowing red to the iridescence of hot stainless 
steel. The craft had no markings. Intense purple light shone from apertures around the dome of the craft. Mr. A noticed wafts of warm 
air, a smell of sulphur, and a hissing sound from the craft. He sketched the object. After about 15 min. he noticed that a hatch on the 
side of the craft had opened. He could see nothing inside, because the light was too bright. 

[[484]] 



He waited in vain for someone to emerge through the hatch. 

About 30 minutes later, Mr. A approached the craft and heard humanlike voices from within. Thinking the craft was of U.S. origin, he 
addressed the assumed occupants in English. When no response was heard, he tried Russian, German, Italian, French, and 
Ukrainian. The voices stopped. Panels slid over the hatch, through which Mr. A had noticed that the craft's walls were about 20 in. 
thick, and honeycombed. After the hatch closed, Mr. A touched the craft with his gloved hand, burning the fingertips of his glove. The 
craft tilted slightly and started to spin rapidly. He was standing near a patterned ventilation or exhaust area on the craft's side. When 
the craft started moving, a blast from this opening burned his upper abdomen and set his shirt and undershirt afire. He tore off the 
shirts and threw them to the ground, stamping out the fire. His outer shirt was almost totally burned, but he retrieved the remains of his 
undershirt. A hole also was burned in the front of the top of the cap he was wearing. He was left with burns on his abdomen and 
sickened, apparently as a result of inhalation of vapors from the machine. The craft disappeared in the direction from which it came at 
a bearing of 255o (determined by Mr. A's compass) and at a speed estimated as far exceeding known aircraft capability. Mr. A said 
he suffered headache, nausea, and cold sweats within minutes after the experience. He returned to his prospecting site (160 ft. away) 
and got his coat and prospecting equipment. He put the remains of his undershirt in his prospecting satchel. Feeling weakened and 
vomiting frequently he struggled to the highway to seek medical assistance. He was aware of a horrible odor associated with his 
breath. 

He reached the highway and requested help from a constable of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) who was driving by. 
The constable thought Mr. A was intoxicated, and refused to help. Mr. A also failed to get help at the park headquarters and went back 
to his motel at Lake X. After several hours, he took a bus to Winnipeg. While waiting for the bus, he telephoned the Winnipeg Tribune 
to request assistance, asking, at the same time, he said, that they give his experience no publicity. 

[[485]] 



Mr. A was met by his son, who took him to hospital X for medical attention. The burns on his abdomen were diagnosed as superficial, 
and Mr. A returned home. He continued to complain of nausea, headache, offensive odor from his lungs, lack of appetite, and rapid 
weight loss. 

Two days after the alleged event, Mr. A was attended to by a personal physician, whom he had not visited since Spring 1 966. The 
following day he was taken to hospital Yto be checked for radiation trauma by the hospital's Department of Nuclear Medicine. A 
radiation pathologist found no evidence of the effects of radiation on the burned area, in his blood, or on Mr. A's clothing. He reported 



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that the burn was thermal. A week after his sighting IVIr. A was checked in the whole-body radiation counter at an Atomic Power 
Installation. This counter detects and measures gamma radiation from isotopes in the body. The test showed no count above normal 
background. 



Mr. A said he lost a total of 22 lb. over the next seven days, but had regained his strength and some weight 1 1 days after his sighting. 
Investigation: 

The case involved close contact, and one of the most detailed descriptions of a material object of this type on record. The site at 
which the event allegedly took place had not been re-visited since the event, and held promise of providing tangible physical evidence 
that an unusual material object had actually been present. A project investigator left for city A as soon as word was received that Mr. A 
was physically able to search for the landing site. The investigator wanted to visit and examine the alleged site before it was disturbed 
by others. 

Nearly two weeks after the event, when Mr. A was interviewed by the project investigator, he had regained sufficient strength to lead a 
search, which was planned for the following day. Mr. A displayed a rash on his neck and chest, which he associated with the alleged 
UFO exposure. He said the rash appeared two days earlier, 1 1 lays after the sighting, and he had visited his physician the morning of 
the interview to have it checked. Mr. A had, on the same day, cooperated with authorities in a ground and air search which had not 
located the 

[[486]] 



UFO landing site. Mr. A reluctantly agreed to lead another ground search, indicating that the new rash made him uncertain of his 
physical health. 

Later, Mr. A led a party, including the project investigator, on a hike in the Canadian bush, ostensibly searching for the landing site 
which assertedly was about three air miles north of a highway, which skirts the north shore of Lake X. The area searched was located 
49°43' +/- 1 'N, 95°1 9' +/- 1 'W, in a forest reserve. A fire-watch tower stands between the highway and the area searched. The party 
began the search within a half mile of this tower, and never got more than two miles from it while wandering back and forth through an 
area within which Mr. A said the site had to be. Most of the area was covered by dense vegetation. Numerous beaver ponds, 
swamps, and rock outcroppings were contained in the area, the outcroppings rising as much as 40 ft. above the swamp level. It was 
on such an outcropping that the landing allegedly occurred. 

This "search" impressed the investigator, as well as other members of the party, as being aimless. Mr. A expressed the desire to 
terminate the search after a few hours of hiking. The rest of the party felt a good effort had not yet been made, and pressed him to 
continue. In the early afternoon, when it seemed obvious that a "landing site" would not be found that day, the party returned to Lake X 
resort, where the investigator interviewed other people who were in the vicinity on the day of the alleged event. 

Two youngsters who claimed they saw an UFO over the lake on the date in question gave a description suggesting that they may have 
observed a box kite or a balloon, but certainly not an object of the type described by Mr. A. 

According to Conservation Officer Jim Bill, the fire lookout towers were manned on this date after 9 a.m. A ranger with Officer Bell 
indicated that the forest was dry at this time. Both rangers felt that a fire capable of burning a man would have started the forest 
burning. They commented that watchmen in the towers generally notice smoke immediately from even a small campfire, and felt that a 
small fire in lichen and moss, such as Mr. A said he tramped out when he 

[[487]] 



threw his burning shirts to the ground, would have been seen by the watchman. They also believed objects as described by Mr. A 
would have been seen by the tower watchman, had they been present for even a fraction of the time Mr. A claimed. Watchtowers are 
8' X 8'. About six other towers are visible in the distance from the tower near the alleged landing site. Although a 35-40 ft. metallic 
saucer only 1/2-2 mi. away should have attracted the watchman's attention, nothing unusual was noted from the watchtower. 

Weather Bureau information indicated the day of the reported sighting was mostly clear with broken clouds, in agreement with Mr. A's 
description. 

The flight direction Mr. A gave for the UFOs would have brought them within about a mile of the golf course at Beach X, at an altitude 
of 4,000 ft. The course attendant said that there were hundreds of golfers on the course on this date, none of whom reported seeing an 
object such as Mr. A described. 

The investigator sought other information supporting the claim that an unconventional flying object had been in the area on the sighting 
date. A check of several other UFO sighting reports in the region revealed that they had no relation to Mr. A's sighting, having occurred 
on a different day (except for the lake sighting already mentioned) in a different area. 

Radar observers at three other locations (60 mi. NW of the claimed sighting, 85 mi. W, and 40 mi. E) reported noticing nothing 
unusual on the alleged sighting date. 

With Mr. A's permission, the project investigator reviewed the case with his physician and with the other M.D.'s involved. Items of 
particular interest which were revealed to the investigator by Mr. A himself were (a) a rapid weight loss; (b) a lymphocyte count of 16% 
climbing later to 21%; and (c) the rash on Mr. A's throat and upper chest which developed 1 1 days after his reported sighting. 



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The claimed weight loss of 22 pounds in seven days, including 14 pounds the first three days, could not be verified. Mr. A's physician 
did not see the patient until two days after the alleged exposure and 

[[488]] 



had not seen him during the previous year. There was no way to verify the weight claimed prior to the event. A medical consultant 
considered the claimed weight loss logically excessive for an inactive, fasting patient. 

The lymphocyte percentages were not outside the limits of expected statistical variation of two routine counts of the same blood, and 
were therefore not considered to be significant. 

The rash, which was not on the same body area as the original burn, looked like the normal reaction to insect bites. Mr. A said the 
rash appeared on the day he had gone on the site search with RCMP officers. In view of the great number of black flies in the area, the 
coincidence in date, Cpl. Davis' report that he was severely bitten while on the search, and the accessibility of the affected neck and 
chest area to flies when the shirt collar is not buttoned (it was Cpl. Davis' belief that Mr. A had worn his collar unbuttoned during the 
search), it seems highly probable that the rash was the result of insect bites and was not connected with the alleged UFO experience. 

Comparison of recordings of separate accounts of Mr. A's UFO experience, as told to an APRO representative two days after the 
reported event and to the project investigator short of two weeks later, revealed minor variations, as would be expected in any two 
accounts of an involved experience. The inclusion in the account of a magnetic effect of the UFO developed during the first interview. 
The APRO representative asked Mr. A if the UFO had affected his compass. Mr. A first answered: "I couldn't tell you if the compass 
needle was affected. I hadn't looked before. It was kind of abnormal." Upon further discussion, the effect developed to a definite 
spinning of the needle, then a rapid whirling as the second object left the area. This latter description was repeated in subsequent 
accounts. It is hard to reconcile such a magnetic effect with the facts that Mr. A not only reported a definite compass reading for the 
direction of departure of the second UFO but also a definite reading of 140o for the direction of approach and departure of the first, 
which left while the second was still present. 

[[489]] 



The undershirt which Mr. A presented had been ripped apart in front, where it was burned. It also carried a patterned burn centered 
high on the back, the pattern matching, according to Mr. A, the pattern of the UFO's exhaust openings from which the burning vapors 
had spurted. Mr. A had been burned only on the abdomen, with slight singeing of the forehead. The reason for the presence of a 
patterned burn on the back of the undershirt was not obvious. 

Mr. A was deemed very reliable by his employer. He had convinced representatives of the RCMP and RCAF, two of the several 
physicians involved, as well as his family, that he was telling the story of a real event. During the project investigator's interview, he 
seemed honest, sincere, and concerned. His presentation of his story was convincing. His wife and son verified his claim of an 
unusual odor coming from his body after his alleged UFO experience, indicating that the odor permeated the bathroom after Mr. A had 
bathed. 

Analysis of Subsequent Developments: 

1 . The claimed finding of the site by Mr. A and an associate shortly over a month later. 

The site was allegedly still obvious, with moss blown away in a circular pattern. Samples of soil and moss from the area, 
portions of the burned shirt, and a six-foot measuring tape which Mr. A had left behind were brought to city A. All three were 
radioactive. When sent to city B for analysis, they were found to be so strongly radioactive that the Radiation Protection Division 
of the Dept. of Health and Welfare considered restricting entry to the forest area from which they allegedly were taken. A careful 
check of the site by a representative of this department revealed that the perimeter of the "landing circle" and beyond were free 
of radioactive contamination. According to his report: 

A thorough survey of the landing area was carried out, using a Tracerlab SU14, Admiral Radiac 5016, and a Civil 
Defense CDV 700 survey meter. One small 

[[490]] 



area was found to be contaminated. This was located across the crown of the rock. There was a smear of 
contamination about 0.5 x 8.0 inches on one side of the crack. There was also some lichen and ground 
vegetation contaminated just beyond the smear. The whole contaminated area was no larger than 100 square 
inches. All water runoff areas were checked for possible contamination, but nothing was found. 

No representative of an independent or official agency was present when the circular area alleged to be the landing site 
was rediscovered. In spite of an RCMP understanding with Mr. A that no evidence should be removed from the area 
should he relocate it, radioactive soil samples, (fortuitously selected from the small contaminated area), remnants of cloth, 
and the measuring tape were represented as having been removed from the area. Why the cloth remnants and the tape 
were radioactive was never explained. While these items could have been contaminated by contact with the soil samples, 
reports received by the project indicated that the items were in separate plastic bags, and major contamination would not 
be expected. The partially-burned undershirt had earlier been found not to carry radioactive contamination. The tape would 
have been left some 160 ft. from the landing circle, in an area found to be free of radioactive contamination. 



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Condon Report, Case 22: Claim of UFO Landing 



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Other individuals checked the site for radioactivity later. One of these was Mr. E. J. Epp of city A, who searched the site in 
Fall of 1967 and found no radioactive material. At the project's suggestion, he had the records of the Dept. of Mines and 
Natural Resources searched for mineral claims in the area filed by Mr. A. This was requested because of the possibility 
that Mr. A had deliberately misdirected the earlier searches in order to protect mineral claims. Such claims were filed by 
him, but not until later in the Fall. 

The project never received a final report of the analyses of the soil samples taken by the Dept. of Health and Welfare. The 
origin of this material is therefore an open question. 

[[491]] 



The site presented did not match Mr. A's earlier description of it. An opening in the trees through which Mr. A said the UFO 
came and departed would have required the object to leave the landing circle travelling in a NNE direction, whereas Mr. A 
had said it departed to the WSW. Other aspects also differed from the original description. 

2. Claimed recurrences (in the early Fall and other occasions) of the physiological reactions to the UFO experience. 
Relation of these reported attacks with Mr. A's alleged UFO experience has not been established. 

3. Commercial publication of Mr. A's story in a booklet. 

This account differs in some aspects from Mr. A's original reports. In the booklet, for example, Mr. A is reported to have stuck his 
head into the open hatch of the "saucer" and observed a maze of randomly flashing lights inside the craft. In earlier accounts, Mr. 
A stated that he avoided going near the hatch and was unable to see inside it because of the brightness of the light coming from 
it. The account was chronologically jumbled, and showed a carelessness with fact. 

4. A claimed visit to the site by Mr. A and another associate a year after the alleged sighting, at which time they discovered 
massive pieces of radioactive material in a fissure of the rock within the "landing circle." This material reportedly consisted of 
two W-shaped bars of metal, each about 4.5 in. long, and several smaller pieces of irregular shape. These items were said to 
have been found about 2 in. below a layer of lichen in the rock fissure. They were later analyzed as nearly pure silver. The results 
of the analyses of these pieces of metal were sent to the Colorado Project by Dr. Peter M. Millman of the National Research 
Council of Canada. The analysis of the report by Mr. R. J. Traill (Head, Minerology Section, NRC) showed that the two fragments 
each consisted of a cental massive metal portion which was not radioactive. One of these was 93% and the other 96% silver. 
Both contained copper and cadmium, and had a composition similar to that found in commercially available sterling silver or 
sheet silver. The metal was coated with a tightly-adhering layer of quartz sand, similar to that used as a foundry sand. This also 
was not radioactive. The radioactivity 

[[492]] 



was contained in a loosely-adhering layer of fine-grained minerals containing uranium. This layer could be removed readily 
by washing and brushing. The minerals were uranophane and thorium-free pitchblende, characteristically found in vein 
deposits. Mr Traill's conclusion was: 

I would interpret the specimens as pieces of thin sheet silver that have been twisted, crumpled, partly melted, 
and dropped into, or othenA/ise placed in contact with, nearly pure quartz sand, while still hot. They have 
subsequently been covered with loosely-adhering radioactive material which consists of crushed pitchblende 
ore, much altered to uranophane and containing associated hematite. These naturally-occuring radioactive 
minerals are found typically in the uraniferous deposits of . . . [River x] area and in parts of . . . [camp X]. 

In view of the thoroughness of earlier searches of the site for radioactive material, it is improbable that the particles 
discovered a year later would have been missed had they been present when the earlier searches were made. 

Conclusions: 

If Mr. A's reported experience were physically real, it would show the existence of alien flying vehicles in our environment. Attempts to 
establish the reality of the event revealed many inconsistencies and incongruities in the case, a number of which are described in this 
report. Developments subsequent to the field investigation have not altered the initial conclusion that this case does not offer probative 
information regarding inconventional craft. 

[[493]] 



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Condon Report, Case 23: Hunters Illuminated by Light from Overhead 9/25/2014 

1 

Case 23 
North Central 
Spring 1967 
Investigators: Foster, Peterson, Wertheimer 



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Abstract: 

Three couples hunting raccoons at night reported that an aerial object approached them, played a brilliant light on them briefly, then 
turned it off and flew away. Individual versions of the incident differed substantially as to motion, appearance, duration of sighting, and 
the object's identity. Investigation attributed the sighting to a prank by the crew of an airplane with a searchlight that had flown over the 
hunt area at the reported time. 

Background: 

Witness A reported the incident to an AFB two days aftenA/ard. A week later he wrote a report to NICAP, which sent a copy of his letter 
to the Colorado project. A telephone conversation with Witness A resulted in sending investigators to the area late in June. 

Investigation: 

The investigators interviewed seven witnesses and visited the site of the incident with one of them. They also visited the AFB to check 
on aircraft activity on the night of the incident. 

Witnesses' versions of what had happened differed rather widely. For that reason, the situation as developed by the witnesses will be 
outlined, followed by a summary of the disparities in their stories. 

Three couples were hunting raccoons on a ranch. Mr. A. was a professional man, Mr. B an administrator, and Mr. C a rancher. 
Witness D was another rancher who was keeping an eye on the hunters. "About 1 1 :30 p.m." the men were about 0.5 mi. W of their 
truck, in which the women were waiting. They carried powerful flashlights that they turned on only briefly as needed. 

[[494]] 



All of the men and women saw a lighted aerial object approach as if gliding down toward them. When immediately over them, it turned 
a brilliant beam of light on the men for a short time, then turned it off and proceeded on its way. Witness D also saw the light. 

However, the details of the individual accounts differed widely. (On some points, some witnesses did not comment.) 

Five witnesses reported that the object came from the NW; one from the N; and one from the E. 

Three reported that it flew a straight course; two thought it turned 90° as it departed. 

Three reported that it hovered while the bright light was on; two, that it kept moving. 

All reported the light was blue, bluish-white, or white except D, who said it was yellowish. 

One witness reported the object was about 50 ft. in diameter, alternately glowing dimly or brilliantly. Two reported several small red 
lights; one, small white and red lights; one, small blinking red, white, and green lights; one, no lights. 

Four witnesses reported that the light from bright spotlight did not move over the ground. Two of the other three thought a second 
spotlight might have done so. All agreed that the beam was conical, emanating from a narrow source. Witnesses disagreed widely as 
to the location of the beam on the ground; each of those in the light path tended to think it was aimed directly at him. 

Three witnesses reported a sound similar to thatof a small airplane engine as the object approached; four noticed it some time after 
the bright light was turned on. 

Total duration of the sighting was estimated by two witnesses as one to three minutes of the bright light; two to three minutes, one and 
a half minute, "a minute or so," a half minute, 30-45 sec, five seconds, and 1 sec, off briefly, then on again momentarily. Only one 
witness ventured a guess at the time the sighting occurred, "approximately 1 1 :30 p.m." 

[[495]] 



One witness reported that he recognized the sound as that of a small twin-engine airplane, and thought he saw its outline as it 
departed. He suggested that the crew might have seen the hunters' blinking flashlights and turned the spotlight on them. 

At the AFB, the investigators learned that on the date of sighting a rather slow twin-engine Navy airplane equipped with a powerful 



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Condon Report, Case 23: Hunters Illuminated by Light from Overhead 9/25/2014 

searchlight had departed at 10:34 p.m. on a course to the SE that would have taken him almost directly over the location of the 
sighting. The pilot was flying "visual," not on instruments. Further, an airman at the AFB reported that he had heard some conversation 
between the pilot and co-pilot before takeoff, indicating that they intended to use the searchlight to set off some UFO stories. Evidently 
the rancher's surmise was right: they had seen the blinking flashlights of the hunters and taken the opportunity to startle them. 

Comment: 

Unlike many comparable cases in which a mystifying apparition has generated widely different versions of the experience, this one 
was convincingly explained. It therefore affords an unusually good opportunity to study the reactions of witnesses to an unfamiliar and 
unexpected situation. The most obvious inference, already familiar to the legal profession, it that eyewitness testimony in such 
circumstances in inherently unreliable. 

It is significant also that the only witnesses who recognized the object as an airplane were the two ranchers and the wife of one of 
them. They were in a familiar situation. The two couples from the city were on unfamiliar ground, were disoriented as to directions, and 
may have felt a bit of latent uneasiness that made them emotionally oblivious of this possibility. Witness A reported that, when the 
brilliant light came on, the rancher (Witness C) exclaimed to him: "My god, what's that?" A: "I don't know." C: "Do you suppose it's one 
of those flying saucers?" 

[[496]] 



Witness C, who said he had recognized the object as an airplane, commented in his interview: "It seemed to me the light came right 
out of the plane-after I got over tellin' it was a flyin' saucer!" 

Mrs. C, who had been in the truck with the other women, commented in an interview: "We talked about it. First it was a plane-then I 
said, 'Was that a flying saucer?' and we just got to thinking..." 

[[497]] 



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Condon Report, Case 24: Claimed Polaroid Photos of UFO 



9/25/2014 



Case 24 
North Eastern 
Summer 1967 
Investigators: Craig and Wadsworth 



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Abstract: 

A 50-year-old general machine handyman and his son, 1 1 , claimed to have seen and photographed a "flying saucer" close to their 
rural home. Neither the numbers on the backs of the two Polaroid photographs nor the focus of objects in the field of view were 
consistent with the account of the alleged sighting. 

Background: 

Two Polaroid photographs of a saucer-shaped UFO were said to have been taken by the witness about 12:15 p.m. EDT. The 
photographs showed windows or ports in both the upper and lower halves of the object. According to Mr. A's account, he was taking a 
picture of his 1 1 -year-old son with his Model 800 Polaroid camera when a high-pitched humming noise attracted their attention. They 
looked in the direction of the noise, and saw an UFO about 60 ft. in diameter, some 500 ft. away, moving about 30 to 40 mph, at an 
altitude of 500-600 ft. Mr. A snapped two pictures during the 15-20 sec. before the object departed at a speed, estimated to be 2,000 
mph. 

According to his account, Mr. A immediately took the pictures to a farm house, about 300 yd. from his home to show the pictures, and 
learn if the neighbors also had seen the object. The neighbor, Mr. B. says that Mr. A arrived at their house about 12:30 p.m. +/- 5 
minutes, and the pictures were still "wet." None of the family had seen nor heard the UFO. At Mr. B's insistence the incident was made 
known to the public. Mr. A wanted to destroythe photos and not tell anyone else of the incident, forfear of ridicule. Mr. B., 

[[498]] 



with A's reluctant permission, notified the state police and local newspapers of the incident and the existence of the photographs. 
Investigation: 

Although there are unexplained discrepancies in the story and pictures, project investigators were not able, on the basis of their 
investigation, to determine that the incident was a hoax. Mr. B was convinced the pictures were of a real object. Both Mr. A and his 
son's stories were generally consistent, and presented seriously with conviction. Neither witness was shaken from his original 
statement after hours of conversation and discussion. The suggestion that such pictures might result from deliberate deception 
brought only emphatic denial. Although Mr. A would not agree to lend the original pictures to this project for analysis, copies of the 
photographs were obtained. 

In picture number one the UFO is in sharp focus but is dimly outlined against the sky because of overexposure. It appears to have 
three dark windows or ports on its lower section (which has the appearance of a pie tin) and a row of square dark windows of similar 
size, but more closely spaced, around its top portion (which resembled a lid of a frying pan, with a knob on top). A dark streak extends 
about half the distance along the ridge-like juncture of the top and bottom portions. This streak ends abruptly. 

The image of the UFO in picture number one is just over three centimeters long. The top of a nearby automobile, the top of a ridge 
some 80 ft. from where Mr. A stood, and several trees and a beehive on the ridge are also visible in photo number one. The trees 
were not in focus. 

Photo number two shows apparently the same UFO, somewhat more distant (a 2.8 cm. image), not in sharp focus, but with good 
contrast against the sky background. In this photo the UFO appears below a wire clothes line located seven feet from the camera. 
Tops of trees are visible in each bottom corner of the picture. 

[[499]] 



Both photos were taken within a few feet of Mr. A's house, number two from a position about 20 ft. from where he stood while taking 
number one. Photo number one was taken at a bearing of 1 00°, photo number two at 300°. The tree tops visible in photo number two 
are at distances of 40-65 ft. away from the camera. They are not the same trees that appear in photo number one. 

Investigation Results: 

1 . Polaroid photograph numbers. Mr. A said the film had been in the camera several months, and only three pictures remained to 
be taken on the roll. He took number six, a picture of his son. Numbers seven and eight would then be the UFO photos. The 
numbers on the back of the UFO photos, however, were one and seven respectively. 



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Condon Report, Case 24: Claimed Polaroid Photos of UFO 



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2. Disappearance of other photographs and photographic material. IVIr. A "could not find" the picture of his son, although Mrs. B 
said he had the three photos, including one of his son, when he arrived at the farmhouse at 12:30. Mr. A. said he "had thrown 
away" the negative back sheets of all photographs. 

3. Lack of other witnesses. An object 60 ft. in diameter and at 500 ft. altitude would have been over a point less than 100 yd. from a 
major highway at the time the pictures were taken, and would have crossed over the highway on departure. The highway carries 
heavy traffic. A crew of gravel-company workmen would have been on their lunch break in the gravel pits over which the object 
was allegedly flying when it was photographed. No one reported seeing such an object, in spite of a radio appeal for other 
observers to identify themselves. No workmen in the gravel pit saw the object, although when questioned several of the workmen 
expressed the opinion that they are so accustomed to loud noises while they work that they would not have noticed the sound 
from an UFO as described by Mr. A. Neither Mr. B., who was on a tractor at 12:15, norany of his family or crew saw the UFO. 

[[500]] 



The only response to the appeal for anyone who had seen UFO about noon on the date of Mr. A's sighting to identify 
himself came from youngsters. Project investigators checked what seemed the most significant of these reports but they 
had no relation to the object in Mr. A's photos. 

One farmer did report that he and his brother, baling hay about one mile from Mr. A's home, (in the direction of claimed 
departure of the UFO), heard something that sounded like "many jet planes" about noon on this date. They commented on 
the sound to each other at the time, but did not see anything which could have generated this noise. 

It seems probable that someone on the highway, or working in the vicinity, would have seen the UFO if it were as 
described. Inquiries were made at radar installations at Youngstown, Ohio air terminal and with the FAA Cleveland Center. 
No observations of unidentified objects were made at either place. 

1 . Position from which picture number two was taken. To reproduce picture number two (minus the UFO), it was necessary for the 
photographer to lower the camera by kneeling on the ground. Mr. A. said he merely stooped over a bit to take the second photo. 

2. Preliminary examination of the photographs by W.K.H. Copies of Mr. A's photographs were sent to Dr. Hartmannfor preliminary 
examination and evaluation. A summary of his response follows: 

In picture number one, the object is in focus (showing square corners on portholes), while the background trees and 
beehive are out of focus. Since the trees and beehive are some 80 ft. away, they should have been in fairly sharp 
focus if the camera were focused for any distance close to or greater than 80 ft. Had the object been some 500 ft. 
away, as Mr. A claimed, and the camera focused essentially at infinity, the trees should be in sharper focus than the 
nearer car top. Photograph number one shows the car top in sharper focus than the trees, and the object in sharper 
focus than the car top. 

In picture number two, the object is less sharp (portholes are blurred, not clearly square). The clothes wire also is 
somewhat out 

[[501]] 



of focus, while the trees (40-65 ft. away in this case) are in sharper focus than in picture number one. 

One possible interpretation of these observations is that the object, and the camera focal distance, was closer 
in picture number one than was the top of the car. The object would then have been five to ten feet from the 
camera. Picture number two could have been made with the focus of the camera set at about 30 ft. while the 
object was enough closer to the camera to be noticeably out of focus. 

If the object were five feet away its diameter was ten inches; if ten feet away, 20 in. Pictures duplicating Mr. A's 
could be produced with a 10-12 in. model, focusing the camera at five feet and 30 ft. for the first and second 
pictures, respectively, and suspending the model by fine thread or monofilament fishing line. (In photo number 
two the suspension could be either from the clothes line which appears in the picture or from a fishing pole.) 

Conclusions: 

The relative focus of objects in picture number one is not consistent with the claim that the UFO was a large object beyond the trees in 
the picture, but is consistent with an assumption that the UFO was pie pan sized. The other discrepancies in the account discussed 
here also contribute to the conclusion that these photographs would not merit further analysis even if the originals were made available 
for detailed study. 

[[502]] 



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Condon Report, Case 25: Noise, Flashes, Power Interruptions 



9/25/2014 



Case 25 
North Eastern 
Summer 1967 
Investigators: Armstrong, Levine 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

Reports of noise, flashes, and power interruptions were attributed to power-line faults. 
Background 

A representative of APRO and NICAP phoned the project to report the following incident. On a Wednesday morning at4:10 a.m., a 
man employed by an aircraft company reported that while driving in a northwest direction to work, he saw a bright light flashing to his 
rear. He turned his car around, and drove back to the location of the flashing light, and stopped at the intersection of two roads. He 
saw a ball he estimated to be two and one-half feet in diameter above trees to the northeast. He was frightened, and left the scene to 
report to the police. He said he saw the flash five times. The next day he stopped at the home of the woman on whose property the 
trees were located. She told him that she had seen the light. 

The NICAP and APRO representative learned of the incident from the police. He interviewed both witnesses. He then looked about 
the scene of the sighting and discovered a place in some tall grass, about 30 inches high, where the grass had been flattened. The 
depression in the grass was circular and about six to ten feet in diameter. The grass was bent in a counter-clockwise direction. At 
8:00 p.m., he took three Polaroid pictures of the area, one of which was a close-up of the depression. He reported that the close-up 
came out "white" and suggested radioactive fogging. On the basis of these reports, Armstrong and Levine went to this area. 

Investigation 

The investigators met with the APRO-NICAP man three days later at 

[[503]] 



1 1 :00 a.m. The aircraft employee was not available, so they copied a tape recording of a statement he had given to the APRO-NICAP 
man. 

The investigators then talked with the woman witness. She reported that she had been awakened at 4:40 a.m. on Wednesday by a 
noise she described as rumbling, crackling, or a "thunder sound", but she knew it was not thunder. Through a small crack in closed 
Venetian blinds, she had seen flashes of light that lit up her bedroom bright enough to read by. The light went on and off several times, 
and there were "nine or ten rumblings." She stopped watching, but could still hear the noise. The bright light lasted longer than 
lightning, but only a few seconds. She reported that the power had gone off at about 5:45 a.m. for about 45 minutes. 

The investigators next examined the grassy depression. They found no radioactivity above background level. The depression was 
roughly circular, but there was little evidence of the grass lying counter-clockwise. The grass was of a kind that, if pushed down, stayed 
down for a long time. Foot tracks that had been made in it two days earlier were clearly visible. The investigators concluded that (1) 
there was no evidence of anything unusual about the depression, and (2) the depression could have been made at anytime during the 
past week or longer. 

They then spoke with a man who lived nearby. He reported having seen the light and heard the noise, which he said sounded like a 
power relay cutting out, between 4:30 and 6:00 a.m. He also noticed that light came from two places, a power pole with a transformer 
on it about 300 feet from his house, and an indistinct location down the road in the direction of the woman witness' house. A night-light 
in his room went out for 35 or 40 seconds when the noise and flash came, and all of these effects coincided intime. He noted that just 
before the sighting a heavy fog and rain had made the branches of the trees very heavy. He had attributed the noise and the flashes to 
the power transformers. 

Conclusions 

In view of the reported power interruptions and the heavy fog 

[[504]] 



and rain, it is probable that all three of the witnesses' sightings were of flashing arcs associated with the power lines. The fog would 
enhance the dispersion of the light and lend a strange quality to it and would also facilitate high-voltage corona discharges. 

[[505]] 



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Condon Report, Case 26: Story Fabricated by Security Guard 



9/25/2014 



Case 26 
South Pacific 
Summer 1967 
Investigator: Craig 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

A 67-year-old security guard, on night duty at a lumberyard, reported firing six shots at a cigar-shaped UFO, and later, finding four of 
the flattened bullets which he said had fallen to the ground after ineffective impact with the UFO. Faced with police evidence, the guard 
admitted that the bullets were ones fired at a steel drum and that the "sighting" of the UFO was fictitious. 

Background: 

The witness reported firing six shots from his .38 caliber revolver at an 80-100 ft. long, cigar-shaped UFO which was hovering at about 
50 ft. in the air at a distance of some 100 ft. The initial report of the incident was made at 3:50 a.m. PDTand the local police 
immediately made a preliminary investigation. At 8:00 a.m. on the same day, the witness reported finding four flattened slugs which he 
said he dug out of furrows in the asphalt surface. 

The witness said that after being fired at, the object rose slowly at first, then sped out of sight in a westerly direction. A bluish-green 
light, which surrounded the UFO, went out after the second shot. The object made no noise until it sped away, at which point the sound 
was comparable to that of an idling automobile motor. 

Investigation: 

A project investigator arrived at about 8:00 p.m. By this time, the witness had changed his story saying that he had made a mistake 
and was now sure that he had fired at a balloon. He said he shot at it only once, and that there was no visible effect, 

[[506]] 



if in fact he hit it at all. The flattened slugs were ones he had saved from earlier target practice, and he had produced them on the spur 
of the moment, to embellish his UFO story. 

Police investigation had showed that the furrows in the ground, from which the bullets had alledgedly been retrieved, were made by 
bullets entering them at a 30-40° angle. It appeared more likely that the slugs were fired directly into the asphalt, and had not fallen to it 
as reported. However, the witness later asserted that he had made the furrows with a ball-peen hammer. In addition, police 
investigation had turned up a steel drum, with numerous holes and indentations on it from bullet impact. When presented with this 
evidence, the witness admitted having fired at the drum for target practice about a month before, and said that the slugs in question 
were some of those which had struck the drum. 

There were no other reports of any unusual sightings in the vicinity on that day. 
Conclusion: 

In view of the witness's own admission that he had fabricated the story, no further investigation or comment was deemed necessary. 

[[507]] 



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Condon Report, Case 27: Attempted Instrumentation of UFO Sightings 



9/25/2014 



Case 27 
North Eastern 
Summer 1967 
Investigator: Rothberg 



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Abstract: 

During a "flap" in the North East area, the project decided to study the feasibility of fielding an investigation in the area with maximum 
instrumentation. The objective was to obtain instrumented observations of UFOs and, if possible, to correlate sightings with nightly 
exposures made by an all-sky camera. Although UFO reports continued at high frequency during the feasibility study, less than 12 of 
9,000 all-sky camera exposures contained images not immediately identifiable. Only two of these coincided intime and azimuth with 
a sighting report. Study of one negative suggests that the image is either that of a meteor whose path was at or nearly at a right angle 
to the focal plane or that an emulsion defect or impurity is responsible for the image. The other negative's image was identified as a 
probable aircraft. 

Background: 

During the summer of 1967, more than 80 sightings were reported in this North East area. The project decided to field an 
investigation in the area in the hope that the wave of sightings would continue and could be directly observed and measured by an 
array of instruments. The investigator was equipped with a car having a radio-telephone, still and motion-picture cameras, two U.S. 
Army infra-red detectors, and a Geiger counter. When on patrol the investigator was in frequent communication with a telephone 
answering service which had been retained to accept sighting reports and record them on Early Warning report forms. The number of 
the answering service was widely publicized throughout the region. 

[[508]] 



An all-sky camera (see Section VI, Chapter 1 0) was mounted in an undisclosed location, on the well-guarded roof of a local hospital 
dominating the area. It was hoped that if the frequency of reports was maintained, some of them could be correlated with all-sky 
camera exposures. The camera was operated during 17 nights. The camera made 9,000 exposures each covering a considerable 
area of the night sky over a period totalling some 150 hr. 

Results: 

No occasion arose in which it was possible to use any of the instrumentation with which the project investigator had been equipped. 

One UFO was seized. It was a plastic bag made into a hot air balloon by mounting candles across its mouth and launching the device. 

More than 100 sighting reports were filed, of which 50 were readily explainable as natural or man-made phenomena, 17 were judged 
to be identifiable, and 14 seemed to require further investigation. Attempts to acquire sufficient additional information regarding the 
last category were unavailing, so that no conclusion was drawn regarding them. 

Study of the two all-sky camera negatives that contained images not immediately identifiable and that approximately coincided intime 
with reported sightings was undertaken by project experts and others. These were exposures made on two separate nights at 8:57 
p.m. and 9:57 p.m. EDC. 

The first frame contains a strong, elliptical spot. No adjacent frames show any image of similar intensity. Examination of the spot under 
120X magnification shows near its center a minute defect or contamination that could have caused spurious development, but 
othenA/ise the spot shows the gradation of density normal to an exposure caused by light. The image's ellipticity could indicate motion 
of the light source during the exposure. Because the image appears on a single frame, it is regarded as either an emulsion or 

[[509]] 



development defect or as caused by a meteor whose path was almost directly perpendicular to the focal plane of the camera. 

The second frame contains a light trace resembling an airplane track and is identified as a probable aircraft. The sighting report that 
coincides intime with this exposure, however, is so fragmentary as to make impossible any firm identification of the object reported 
as being the trace shown on the film. 

A third frame for 4 September at 00:32 EDT was also deemed worthy of further study by the field investigator, but project experts 
report that it and adjacent frames contain only the images of stars. 

Conclusions: 

I 



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Condon Report, Case 27: Attempted Instrumentation of UFO Sightings 



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This investigation was of particular importance because it offered an opportunity for study of UFOs at the time they were reported, and 
for measurement of their properties using sophisticated instrumentation, including the all-sky camera. The fact that even though scores 
of UFOs were reported during that time, the investigator could find nothing to examine with his instruments and nothing remarkable on 
thousands of all-sky camera exposures with the exceptions noted above is highly significant. We conclude that the expectation that it 
might be possible to place a trained, equipped investigator on the scene of an UFO sighting has a probability so low as to be virtually 
nil. 

[[510]] 



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Condon Report, Case 28: Sighting Series ID'd as USAF Aerial Refueling Training 9/25/2014 

1 

Case 28 
South Pacific 
Winter 1966 through Summer 1967 
Investigators: Roach, Wadsworth 



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Abstract: 

Repeated sightings that began in late 1 966 and recurred for many months, arousing widespread interest, were identified as a jet 
aircraft engaged in aerial refueling training practice. 

Background 

During late 1966, mysterious lights began to appear over the central partof an agricultural valley in the South Pacific. Local residents 
soon began to report them as UFOs, and the resultant publicity led eventually to investigation by NICAP and this project. These 
sightings, instead of reaching a peak and tapering off, continued for many months. By summer of 1 967 interest was intense. Most of 
the sightings were witnessed from a site near a foothills town located at the eastern slope of the valley. 

The key witness in the area was a resident (Witness I) of the town. He and his wife had observed, logged, and photographed UFOs on 
numerous occasions during the preceding months. He also coordinated an UFO surveillance network using Citizens Band radio which 
covered a radius of approximately 80 miles. As principal contact in the area, he provided background information that included names 
of witnesses, taped interviews, and photographic evidence. This material proved invaluable in preliminary assessment of the situation. 

Sightings, General Information 

The sightings fell into two groups: one (hereafter referred to as the primary group) was highly homogeneous and comprised 
approximately 85% of the total number of sightings. Objects in the primary group appeared as orange-white lights above the valley at 
night. 

[[511]] 



These lights moved, hovered, disappeared and reappeared, and sometimes merged with one another. This report deals with the 
primary group of sightings. 

Sightings from the smaller group will be reported separately, as they form a heterogeneous assortment that is clearly discontinuous 
with the primary group. 

Photographs 

The high frequency of primary-group sightings provided Witness I with numerous opportunities to take pictures with a tripod-mounted 
Rolleiflex camera. The resulting photographs, while providing no answers to what the objects were, did constitute firmer evidence than 
the unsupported testimony of witnesses. 

Area Features 

a. The ranch home of Witness I was located in the foothills east of the valley and 1800 ft. above the valley floor. 

b. The view from the ranch was unobstructed from southeast to southwest. Foothills in the foreground obscured in the distant 
horizon from northwest to northeast. 

c. Most observations from the home of Witness I were from the rear patio, which faced south with a full view of the unobstructed 
horizon as well as parts of the foreground foothills to the east and west. In most instances he, alone, made the observations. 

d. Most sightings were to the southwest over the valley floor. 

e. Area residents habitually sat outside at night during the summer because of the heat. This practice contributed to the frequency 
of sightings. 

f. The recurrence of sightings excited the people in the area, thereby causing an increase in reports of low reliability. 
Investigation 

After detailed discussions with local NICAP people, including Witness I and his wife, project investigators decided to try to observe 
the UFOs themselves. On the night of 1 2 August they saw nothing unusual. On 1 3 August, however, the following events occurred: 

At 10:30 p.m. a light appeared low in the southern sky, travelling 



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[[512]] 



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1 



approximately 107sec. After about 10 sec, more detail became visible and the object was identified as probably an aircraft with 
conventional running lights and an anti-collision beacon. 

Meanwhile, another light had appeared to the east of the presumed aircraft, travelling west at a similar angular rate. This light was not 
obviously an aircraft, but appeared as a dull orange light that varied somewhat in intensity as it moved. The object could have been an 
aircraft. Witness I, however, said that it was exactly the kind of thing that had been reported frequently as an UFO. He was 
disappointed that it had not been as near and bright as he had observed on other occasions. 

After about 1 5 sec, the UFO, which had been travelling horizontally westward, seemed to flicker and then vanished. The original 
object continued eastward, disappearing in the distance in a manner consistent with its identification as an aircraft. Duration of both 
observations was less than a minute. 

On 14 August Wadsworth and Witness I drove to a village 20 miles south of the sighting area, where several sightings had been 
reported, and west and northwest toward towns A, B, and C. This area, had been most frequently indicated by observers as the 
apparent location of the UFOs. However, interviews with area residents disclosed no significant information. 

Another sky watch that evening by Wadsworth, Witness I and his wife (Roach had gone) yielded nothing unusual until midnight. At 
12:00 a.m. and again at 12:42 a.m. on 15 August UFOs were observed. They hovered, moved horizontally, and vanished. They 
appeared as bright orange lights showing no extended size and varying in intensity. Wadsworth thought they might be low-flying 
aircraft on flight paths that produced illusory hovering, but they could not be identified as such. Witness I described the lights as "good 
solid sightings," typical of the recurrent UFO sightings in the area. One of the sightings was later confirmed in all essentials by two 
women, who lived nearby. 

The Monday night sighting was reported by telephone to the base 

[[513]] 




Figure 3: Castle AFB & Vicinity 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[514]] 



UFO officer at a nearby Air Force base. He stated that no aircraft from that base had been in the air at the time of the sighting. 

Project investigators then instituted a surveillance plan for the night of 1 5-1 6 August. About 9:00 p.m., Wadsworth drove to a fire 
lookout tower atop a mountain near the sighting area. This lookout, the highest in the area, afforded an optimum view over the entire 
valley. He carried a transceiver to communicate with Witness I in the town of sighting for coordination of sighting observations, and 
was accompanied by a local NICAP member. Also present were the resident fire lookouts at the station. 

At midnight orange lights appeared successively over the valley in the direction of towns A, B and C (see map, figure 3). These lights, 
observed simultaneously by Wadsworth and Witness I, appeared to brighten, dim, go out completely, reappear, hover, and move 
about. Sometimes two of them would move togetherfor a few moments and then separate. This behavior continued for an hour-and-a- 
half. 

The mountain vantage point afforded a much more comprehensive view of the phenomena than did the valley town site. It was 
possible to observe a general pattern of movement that could not have been seen from below, because the north end of this pattern 
was over Town 0, which was not visible from the sighting town. Even with binoculars Wadsworth had to study the pattern for more than 
an hour before he could begin to understand what was happening. 

Essentially, the lights made long, low runs from Town C toward Town B, which was not visible from the sighting town. Even with 
binoculars Wadsworth had to study the pattern for more than an hour before he could begin to understand what was happening. At 
other times they appeared to hover, flare up, then go out completely. Witness I believed that the lights flared up in response to signals 
he flashed at them with a spotlight. Many of his flashes were followed by flare-ups of the UFOs, but to Wadsworth these flare-ups 
appeared coincidental. 

[[515]] 



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Observations lasting about two hours convinced Wadsworth that the lights were aboard aircraft operating out of an Air Force base in 
Town C. He was finally able to see the lights move along what was apparently a runway, then lift off, circle southward, and go through 
the behavior previously described before returning to land at Castle. It should be pointed out that none of this pattern was obvious, 
even to the NICAP man some thirty miles away, and visibility was limited by haze. In checking further with the base, it was learned that 
most of the aerial activity there involved tankers and B-52s in practice refuelling operations. Between 400 and 500 sorties were 
launched each month, day and night. These planes carried large spotlights that were switched on and off repeatedly during training. 
This feature explains the flare-ups and the disappear-reappear phenomena, that had been observed from the town. The apparent 
hovering is accounted for by the fact that part of the flight pattern was on a heading towards the observer. The closing behavior 
followed by separation was the refuelling contact. Maps supplied by the AFB showed flight patterns consistent with these sightings as 
to the objects' locations, motions, and disappearance-reappearance-flare-up behavior. (See fig. 3, p. 514) Since these objects were 
essentially identical to those seen the previous night, it was assumed that the UFO officer had been in error when he stated that no 
aircraft activity had originated at the Air Force base. 

Summary and Conclusion 

The sightings were of interest for two reasons. First, the phenomena were strange enough to defy simple explanation. Second, they 
were on a large enough scale to arouse widespread interest. Sighting frequency was high and did not decline with time. 

However, the sightings were not individually spectacular, being essentially lights in the night sky. This case is an example of 
conventional stimuli (aircraft) that, by their unusual behavior, lighting, and flight paths, presented an unconventional appearance to 
witnesses. 

Before the project investigation, observers had become loosely organized around Witness I, who logged sightings, taped interviews 

[[516]] 



with witnesses, and obtained photographs of the objects. He also called on Los Angeles NICAP for further assistance. But one thing 
that apparently no observer did was to drive across the valley to the Air Force base while sightings were occurring. There may have 
been two reasons for this omission. First, Witness I had phoned the base on several occasions to report sightings, and had been 
erroneously but authoritatively informed that the sightings could not be accounted for by planes based locally. Second, few observers 
were seeking a conventional explanation that would dispel the intriguing presence of UFOs. Even when the sightings were identified 
by Wadsworth, Witness I was loath to accept the aircraft explanation. Thus a solution was not forthcoming from the local situation, 
which had reached a kind of equilibrium. 

After examining the previously compiled information, project investigators decided a more direct approach was needed. The methods 
of inquiry and observations that they used resulted in the discovery of a pattern of behavior readily identified with aircraft activity 
originating from the local air base. 

[[517]] 



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Figure 3 



Approach to Runway 30 Castle AFB 
from Crystal Holding Pattern 



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Condon Report, Case 29: Aerial Flare Drop 



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Case 29 
North Eastern 
Summer 1967 
Investigators: Craig, Levine 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

Six to 16 bright lights, appearing and disappearing in sequence, were seen by several independent witnesses. Some witnesses 
reported seeing the outline of an object to which the lights were apparently attached. Investigation showed that the lights were ALA-1 7 
flares dropped from a B-52 aircraft as part of an USAF aircrew training program. 

Background: 

At least 17 witnesses in ten independent groups reported seeing six to 16 bright objects or as many lights associated with a single 
object, in the northeastern sky at about 9:30 p.m. EDT. Most of the reports indicated that the lights were visible for 10-15 sec, 
although a few claimed durations up to five minutes. 

The first report was made by a group of six teenagers who said they saw a noiseless "flying saucer" with six yellow lights 200 ft. in the 
air over the concession stand on the beach. They reported the object to be about 20-35 ft. across with a "round thing on the top and 
bottom." 

Publication of this report was followed by numerous reports of similar observations that had been made at the same time. These 
observations were from four different beaches, an airport, and a fishing boat off-shore. The reports varied in detail, but agreed that the 
sighting was sometime between 9:15-9:45 p.m.; several reports placed the time within five minutes of 9:30. They all agreed that the 
lights appeared in the northeast. Elevation angles that were indicated varied from 5-30o above the horizon. The lights were described 
as blinking on and off; some descriptions indicated that they appeared 

[[518]] 



in sequence from left to right and blinked off in reverse sequence, right to left. Most observers saw five or six yellow lights in a roughly 
horizontal line, each light being comparable in brightness with the planet Venus. One private pilot observing from the ground at an 
airport saw a horizontal string of sixto eight pairs of lights, one yellow and one red light in each pair. The array moved toward the 
horizon and seemed to get larger for five to seven seconds, stopping four to five seconds, then beginning to retrace the approach path 
before blinking out about four seconds later. While most observers saw only lights, at least one witness, in addition to the teenagers at 
the original beach, reported seeing a large disc-like object encompassing the lights. Other of the witnesses "had the feeling the lights 
were attached to an object." 

Investigation: 

Six witnesses in this northeastern area were interviewed directly, most of them at the locations from which they saw the lights. Others 
were contacted by telephone. The multiplicity of consistent reports indicated that unusual lights in the sky had indeed been seen; it 
was not certain whether they were separate lights or were lights on a single object. 

Reports of these UFO sightings, when they had been telephoned to the nearest Air Force Base by observers, had been disregarded 
there. No unusual unidentified radar images had been recorded at the nearest FAA Center. 

The observations as described did not resemble airplane activity or meteorological or astronomical phenomena. No blimps or aircraft 
with lighted advertising signs were in the vicinity of the sighting at the time. 

Since reports of UFO sightings had been frequent in this region, the investigating team spent several late hours observing the sky in 
hopes of getting first-hand information about the lights or objects that had been seen. No UFOs appeared during the watches. 

[[519]] 



One of the witnesses to the original sighting, a high-school senior, reported seeing "that object" again on a subsequent evening. He 
guided the investigating team around a golf-course, describing a large saucer with surrounding windows which he had seen there just 
a few yards above his head. This report was judged to be a fabrica- tion. 

A few weeks after the project team returned to Colorado, the NICAP Subcommittee Chairman, Raymond E. Fowler, learned that 16 
flares had been dropped at 9:25 EDT on the night in question from a B-52 aircraft 25-30 mi. NE of the beach area. Information about 
the flare drop was furnished, at Mr. Fowler's request, by the Wing Information Officer. 

The Strategic Air Command had initiated an aircrew training program for dropping ALA-1 7 flares on the day before with aircrews 



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releasing as many as 1 6 flares per drop. The flares are released over controlled areas at 20,000 ft. or more. They burn with a brilliant 
white light, and are easily visible atdistances in excess of 30 mi. 



Conclusion: 

In view of the close coincidence in time, location, direction and appearance between the flares dropped and the UFOs sighted on the 
same day, it seems highly likely that the witnesses saw the flares and not unusual flying objects. It also seems highly likely that the 
suggestion of an outline of an object as reported by a few witnesses was, in fact, a productof their expectation to see lights in the sky 
on something rather than floating about by themselves. 

[[520]] 



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Condon Report, Case 30: Rumored sighting in connection with X-15 flight 



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Case 30 
South Pacific 
Fall 1967 
Investigator: Staff 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

A civilian employee at an AFB confirmed an earlier report that base personnel had made an UFO sighting, although official sources 
denied that such an event had occurred. 

Background: 

A rumor was relayed to this project by a source considered to be reliable, reporting in the fall, 1967, six UFOs had followed an X-15 
flight at the AFB. It was suggested that motion pictures of the event should be available from the Air Force. 

Investigation: 

Before initiating a field investigation. Project members checked by phone with Base Operations for confirmation of the rumor. There 
was no log book record of an UFO report and no X-15 flight on that day. The last X-1 5 flight had been 8 days previously and the last 
recorded UFO report submitted to the base had been a month before. 

The rumor persisted, however, with indications that official secrecy was associated with the event. If reports of the event had been 
classified, no record would appear on the operations log. Although there apparently was no association with an X-1 5 flight, a 
responsible base employee (Mr. A), who wished to remain anonymous, had reassured our source that there was a sighting by pilots 
and control tower operators. Mr. A had left the AFB fortemporary duty elsewhere. His replacement, Mr. B, was unable to obtain details 
of the event but was quoted as saying that there apparently was something to it because "they are not just flatly denying it." 

[[521]] 



Mr. A was contacted by telephone at his temporary assignment by a project investigator. He said he actually did not know too much 
about the incident, since all the information had been turned over to the public information officer, who was the only one at the base 
who could discuss it. According to Mr. A the information had come to his desk; his action was to pass it on to the PIO. 

Attempts to learn more about the reported event from the PIO were met with apparent evasion from that office. The Director of 
Information was reportedly unavailable when phoned. He did not return calls. On one attempt to reach him, the investigator indicated to 
a PIO secretary that he would prefer to replace the call when the Colonel was in, rather than to speak with a lieutenant who was 
available at that moment. The secretary's response was "Well, the Colonel is busy this year - but you'd still prefer to wait until next 
Monday?" 

On Monday, the Colonel was again unavailable and once again did not return the call. A request was then made through the Pentagon 
for determination of whether or not an UFO event had in fact, occurred at the base on the day specified. A Pentagon officer, 
transmitted a request to the base Director of Information that he telephone the project investigator and clarify this situation. This 
resulted in a telephone message, left by an assistant to the Director of Information, that there was no UFO event at that base on the 
day in question. 

Mr. A was contacted later, after his return to the base, and asked for clarification of the incident. He responded only that the Director of 
Information had told him to "stay out of that." 

Conclusion: 

Although it is true that the report of this incident was never more than a rumor, it is also true that project investigators were not able 
satisfactorily to confirm or deny that an UFO incident had 

[[522]] 



occurred. Attempts to investigate the rumor were met with evasion and uncooperative responses to our inquiries by base information. 

[[523]] 



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Condon Report, Case 31: Lights sighted over road 



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Case 31 
North Eastern 
Fall 1967 
Investigators: Ayer, Wadsworth 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

A woman and her children driving on a rural road at night saw a trapezoidal pattern of dim red lights over the road. As the car 
approached the lights, they moved off the road and disappeared between the trees. The possibility that the lights were on a 
microwave tower in the vicinity of the sighting is discounted by the witness' familiarity with the road and tower, her accurate account of 
accessory details, and other factors. 

Investigation: 

Interviews with the principal witness in the fall of 1 967 brought out the following account: 

A woman was driving north with her three young sons on a country road about 7:45 p.m., when her oldest boy, aged about ten, called 
her attention to about 18 extended dim red lights arranged in a trapezoidal pattern. They appeared about as high as the first cross- 
piece on a telephone pole, and as wide as the road - that is, about 15 ft., and hovered about 1 .5 ft. above the road. 

As soon as the woman saw the lights, she accelerated to try to catch them, and chased them up the road about 300 yd. until they 
vanished between two sugar maples on her left. The lights disappeared as if they had been occulted from right to left. The structure to 
which the lights were presumably attached was never visible. 

After hearing the woman's report, a project investigator drove S on the road about 4:30 p.m. to check the landmarks. In addition to the 
two maples about 300 yd. north of the house where the lights were first seen, there was a third maple nearer the road and 

[[524]] 



about 250 yd. further north, and a microwave tower about 500 yd. N of the third maple and somewhat W of the road. Such towers 
usually are well lighted at night. It appeared that, if the trees cut off the view of the top of the tower, the lower part would resemble the 
strange lights, provided that the number of lights agreed with those reported. The third maple would be responsible for the occultation. 

Accordingly, both investigators returned to the road about 8:30 p.m. The first glimpse of the illuminated tower severely undermined the 
hypothesis. The tower carried only a red beacon at the top and four red lights halfiA/ay down, one on each leg or the rectangular 
structure. 

A subsequent talk with the witness revealed that she had traveled back and forth along the road a great many times. She was quite 
familiar with the appearance of the tower, and denied emphatically that it was what she had seen, because the lights on the object 
were dim and extended, while those on the tower were "points with rays." Furthermore, there were too few lights on the tower. 

Comment: 

This witnesses impressed both investigators as an accurate and wide-awake observer who was quite capable of relating to known 
land- marks the behavior of an unexpected and unfamiliar sight with little distortion. 

The sighting can be explained by the presence of the microwave tower. A further argument for the tower hypothesis depends on the 
fact that the road ran upgrade about 40 ft. in elevation between the witness' locations at first sighting and at disappearance. Thus, it 
appears that the lighten top of the tower would have been seen low over this rise ii the road, the lower lights on the tower being 
obscured. 

The tower cannot therefore be regarded as a fully satisfactory explanation. The reported lights were seen just above the roadway; but 
at no point does the road run directly toward the tower. Further, 

[[525]] 



by the witness' account, the strangeness of the object was apparent to both her and her son, both of whom were very familiar with the 
road and the tower. 

[[526]] 



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Condon Report, Case 32: Horse Death 



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Case 32 
South Mountain 
Fall 1967 
Investigators: Ayer, Wadsworth 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

The death of a horse was popularly believed to be related to UFO sightings, but professional investigation disclosed nothing unusual 
in the condition of the carcass. No significant conclusions could be derived from numerous reports of UFO sightings. 

Background: 

During the early fall, 1967, news of a series of events that were popularly held to be related filtered into the Colorado project. One 
such event had been the death of a horse under allegedly mysterious circumstances a month before. This death had become 
associated in the public mind with recent UFO sightings in the area. 

The horse, owned by a woman and pastured on her brother's ranch, had not come in for water one day and had been found dead two 
days later. It was reported that all the flesh and skin had been removed from his head and neck down to a straight cut just ahead of the 
shoulder, and that crushed vegetation, strange depressions in the ground, and dark "exhaust marks" had been found nearby. The 
owner of the horse was a correspondent for a local newspaper, and a spate of releases had rapidly inflated public interest in the case. 

When, a few days later, word came through that a second dead horse had been found, amid persistent rumors of unreported UFOs, it 
was decided that project investigators should go to the area. 

[[527]] 



Investigation 

The area about the carcass had been trampled by several hundred visitors. The investigators therefore considered it was not 
worthwhile to try to investigate anything at the site except the carcass. When they learned that no veterinarian had examined it, they 
called in a veterinarian, who examined the carcasses of both of the horses. His essential findings were: 

The horse's carcass was extremely old for an autopsy, but there was evidence suggesting a severe infection in a hindleg that could 
have disabled or killed the animal. There was evidence also of a knife cut in the neck, possibly made by someone who found the 
horse hope- lessly sick. Absence of nerve tissues and viscera was normal for a carcass dead several weeks. 

Magpies and other birds ordinarily cannot peck through the skin of a horse, but will eat the flesh and skin if they can get into it. In this 
case, they evidently had taken advantage of the cut and removed all accessible skin and flesh from the neck and head before the 
carcass had been found. 

The second horse carcass showed evidence that death had resulted from encephalitis. 

It had been reported that a forest ranger with civil defense training had found a high level of radioactivity near the "exhaust marks." 
When questioned by an investigator, he said that his meter had indicated only "slight" activity two weeks after the carcass had been 
found. The investigators concluded that the activity he had measured on his simple survey instrument had been no greater than the 
normal background radiation they measured three weeks later. 

Conclusions: 

There was no evidence to support the assertion that the horse's death was associated in any way with abnormal causes. 

[[528]] 



Other Sightings: 

The investigators then turned their attention to the numerous reports of UFO sightings in the same area. Many were vague or involved 
direct lights at night. Only the more interesting cases are reported here. 

1 ) A service-station attendant and former aircraft gunner reported three sightings in ten years. The second, about 1 962, occurred 
while he, with three companions, was driving west at 65 mph., about 3:30 a.m. They noticed on the slope of a nearby mountain a point 
of blue light that moved toward the highway and then turned parallel to it, pacing the car a few feet from the ground. It soon pulled 
ahead and vanished over the valley. Suddenly, the witness saw what he assumed was the same light appear in the middle of the road 
some distance ahead and approach at high speed, so that he ran the car off into the graded ditch to avoid collision. As the light 



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Condon Report, Case 32: Horse Death 



approached, it grew to at least the size of his car. As it passed, it shot upward a few feet, turned south, and disappeared. 



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1 



In the spring of 1 967, the same witness, with his wife, was driving west when he saw an object that resembled a box kite crossing the 
highway from the left. He associated it with a helicopter, although he was familiar with them and the apparition was silent. Thinking that 
it was some kind of aircraft that might land at the airport, he drove directly there. During this part of the trip, the object disappeared 
behind some buildings. When they arrived at the airport, it was nowhere insight. 

2) About 5:1 5 a.m., late summer, 1967, a couple were driving south when they saw two extended objects outlined with a dull glow, at 
an altitude of about 15°. One was directly south over the road, and the second was south-southwest. The objects moved northwesterly 
until they were apparently "directly over [the mountain]." There the second moved up beside the first and they hovered for several 
minutes before descending rapidly to the ground, where they merged with the vegetation and disappeared. The witnesses 

[[529]] 



estimated that the minimum distance to the objects was one mile, and presumably was never very much greater; however, they 
hovered "directly over [the mountain]," which was at least 8 mi. away. 

3) On an unrecalled date, late in the summer, 1966, about 5:30 a.m., two boys, ages 13 and 17, were traveling north when they saw an 
extended bright light in the road. The UFO kept ahead of them for about 20 mi., then disappeared. 

4) At 10:15 p.m., early fall, 1967, the owner of the horse mentioned above, with her husband, was driving west. They saw three 
pulsating red-and-green lights pass over, moving generally southwest. 

After five to ten minutes, the third object seemed to explode, emitting a yellow flash, then a second flash nearer the ground, and a puff 
of smoke that the witnesses observed for ten minutes. Several fragments were seen to fall to the ground after the second explosion. 

The husband and wife disagreed as to the location. He said the wreckage should lie somewhere between the second and fifth hill 
south of a nearby town, but she said she saw the explosion over a brown hill ten miles east of the same town. The explosion was also 
seen by a farmer, and his times and bearings supported the husband's account. Ayer drove between the second and third and the 
third and fourth hills, and he flew over the region south of the fifth hill, but he saw nothing of interest. 

The data on this sighting were sent to Major Quintanilla, who reported that no satellite re-entries had been seen or predicted at the 
reported time. This finding, however, did not preclude the unobserved re-entry of a minor fragment that had not been tracked. 

5) Another couple reported several sightings, one of these, between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m., fall, 1967, considered by them to be a 
"meteor." Its location was not given. This sighting was also reported to Major Quintanilla, but no satellite had been observed to re- 
enter on that day. 

[[530]] 



6) In the fall, 1967, "ten minutes before dark," two ranchers driving west saw a small cigar-shaped cloud, vertically oriented in a sky 
that had only one other cloud in it. The cigar was about the size of a thumb at arms length, 200 above the "horizon" and 45° south of 
the road, that is, southwest of the point of first sighting. It was slightly boat-tailed at the bottom and its outlines were not sharp. The 
second cloud was obviously a cloud, at a slightly greater altitude in the south. The two men drove about three miles while the "cigar" 
tilted slightly toward the other cloud and moved slowly toward it. They stopped the carto observe more closely. Pointing toward the 
larger cloud, the "cigar" continued to approach it. After a few minutes the witnesses drove on, and a few minutes later the "cigar" 
melted into the cloud. 

Summary: 

None of these sighting reports were considered to be current or strange enough to warrant detailed investigation. 

[[531]] 



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Condon Report, Case 33: Hovering Object 



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Case 33 
North Eastern 
Summer 1967 
Investigators: Ayer, Wadsworth 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

Two teen-aged girls in a rural home reported that in the evening a large glowing object had hovered nearby and that several child- 
sized figures had been seen running about near the barn. Testimony of others in the area was inconclusive, in some respects 
supporting and in others weakening their account. No definite explanation was found, but the case is considered weak. 

Background: 

Preliminary information, elaborated by interviews of the witnesses, developed the following summary account: 

Two fourteen-year-old girls in a second-story bedroom in the home of one of them were looking out a window about 9:00 p.m., when 
they saw a large glowing object above and beyond the barn, which was south of the house. During the next hour, the object moved up 
and down, left and right, and varied considerably in brightness. Both girls thought the object was between the barn and a hill no more 
than a few hundred yards beyond it. After about a half-hour they heard a sound, apparently from the barn, like the "put-put" made by a 
power mower when it fires but fails to start. Then three small figures ran from the barn and stopped by a mail box next to the adjacent 
road. They stood there for several minutes looking in the direction of the house and then ran across the road to stop under a large tree 
where they were partially hidden in shadow. Shortly aftenA/ard a car approached, the object blacked out, and the figures ran across the 
road, past the barn and disappeared into the shadows. After the car had passed, the object began to pulsate between a very bright 
white and a dull red. It also began moving diagonally from upper right to lower left. This was repeated a number of times before a 
second car, 

[[532]] 



driven by the mother of the girl whose home they were in, ap- preached the house. The object then became dim, as if reacting to the 
approach of the car. The mother was able to see the object dimly, and it remained dim throughout her observation. No attempt was 
made to get a closer look, and around 10:00 p.m. the observers went to bed, with the object still dim but visible. Nothing unusual could 
be found to account for the sighting. 

Investigation: 

Interviews of witnesses 

The two girls were interviewed in the home where the sighting had occurred. Conditions were unfavorable as other members of the 
family were present and asking them to leave would have been awkward. Because of the initial nervousness of the girls, and since 
they had already been interviewed separately by Ted Thobin of NICAP, a single interview was held with both girls. Their accounts 
were generally the same as told earlier to Thobin; however certain discrepancies in different versions will be pointed out: Both 
witnesses tended to be very general when asked to describe the sighting in a narrative manner. Thus it became necessary to ask 
direct questions in order to obtain details, so that it was difficult to avoid leading the witness. In general, the girls seemed to lack 
curiosity and interest in the sighting. They also seemed rather immature for fourteen-year-olds, and it is difficult to evaluate the 
reliability of their report. 

Related testimony 

Two neighbors were questioned in connection with the sighting. One lived about a quarter-mile south of the house where the sighting 
had occurred; i.e., in the general direction of the sighting. She had seen nothing unusual on the night of the sighting; however, she 
remembered that several fires were burning in a swamp area about one-half mile southeast of her house at the time of the sighting, 
and were tended by someone on a motor scooter. A check of the exact location of the fires relative to the UFO was inconclusive. The 
UFO was approximately S of the house, while the fires were 10-15° E of S. The motor scooter might account for the "put-put" sound. 
When asked about this, the girls stated that the sound 

[[533]] 



had come from the barn, not beyond. It should also be mentioned that the neighbor who mentioned the fires did not see them even 
though she was much nearer than the girls. The fires were about forty feet lower than her house and sixty feet below the house where 
the girls were, obscured by moderately dense timber. 

A second woman, who lived almost directly across the road from the observers' house, was originally considered a corroborating 
witness to the sighting. She had reluctantly admitted having seen the object, but emphasized that she did not wish to be involved. She 



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told Ted Thobin that she had seen a bright white watermelon-shaped thing when she went out to take in the wash between 9:00 and 
10:00 p.m. This, however, was after she had teased the girls about seeing "little green men." More detailed information sought by the 
project team was refused. Her husband said that he had taken garbage out around 9:30 p.m. that night and had seen nothing unusual. 



Another two-witness report was received later from NICAP as a possible corroboration of the original sighting. An object described as 
a clam-shaped, glowing red UFO was sighted 15 September 1967 at 7:50 p.m. from a location less than a mile from the girls' 
sighting. 

A sighting made by one of the girls and her mother two nights after the primary sighting was described as follows: 

At 9:30 p.m., a bright star-like ojbectwas seen in the SE at 25° elevation, moving W at apparent aircraft speed. When directly S of 
their house (a later version said SW), the object abruptly stopped and remained motionless for several minutes. Then an airplane 
approached from the E, and the object took off toward the E, retracing its original course and passing above the plane to disappear 
from sight in the direction from which it had come. Total duration was several minutes. 

Reconstruction of sighting 

1 . The object was first seen as the girls were looking up the road from an upstairs bedroom window. The bedroom light was out, 
and the only lighted room on that side of the house was the kitchen. 

[[534]] 



2. The object appeared as a bright white light that alternately dimmed and then brightened again, seeming to grow larger. One of 
the girls implied that this change of brightness was of several seconds periodicity; the other said that the object "blinked fast," 
and that it was mostly white. 

3. Both girls had watched this for about half an hourwhen they heard a "putting sound" from the barn. This sound ceased almost 
immediately, and two or three figures ran from the barn and stopped by the mail box next to the road. At this point, there are dis- 
crepancies as to the number of figures and their behavior. One girl initially mentioned three figures; she said two stood by the 
mail box, one on either side, and then moments later all three appeared as they ran past the barn and vanished into the 
shadows. NICAP's report indicated that the two figures who stood by the mail box dashed across the road, stopped under a 
tree, and then dashed back across the road, where for the first time a third figure was visible running with the other two past the 
barn. The version obtained by the project team at first did not mention the figures having crossed the road at all. When asked 
about this, the girls were vague; however, they agreed that, after the figures stopped by the mail box, they next appeared across 
the street under a tree. Neither girl remembered seeing the figures cross the road in either direction. Only general details of the 
figures were reported: height was estimated as about 4.5 ft. by comparison with the mail box; clothing seemed the same for all 
three ~ no details; the heads appeared disproportionately large. 

4. After the figures had been momentarily observed across the road, a car approached from behind the observers, and three 
figures were seen running past the barn, where they vanished in shadow. The figures were seen as silhouettes against 
background light from the moon which was three days before full phase and from the luminous object. The witnesses could not 
remember whether the lights of the approaching car partially illuminated the figures. At the same time, the luminous object 
dimmed out. One girl said that it became so dim they could hardly see it. The other said its lights went out and did not come 
back on for five minutes. Thus there was a period during which little was seen, after which the object brightened as before. 

[[535]] 



5. Then, in addition to its changes in brightness, the object began to move diagonally from lower left to upper right. This motion was 
confined to several diameters of the object, perhaps two or three degrees according to sketches made by the girls. 

6. Another discrepancy concerned the position of the object relative to the background. Originally, the girls had said that the object 
dropped down behind the barn several times, and also appeared sometimes against the background of trees. Upon closer 
questioning, using sketches, both girls indicated that the object was never actually below the horizon even when it seemed to 
drop down. This statement, if accurate, sharply reduces the quality of the sighting, because the original distance limits of a few 
hundred yards can no longer be relied upon, and size estimates ~ which are characteristically exaggerated ~ lose meaning. It 
should be mentioned that the size estimate given Thobin was likened to a VW automobile at 150 yd. The brightness was said to 
be equivalent to sunlight, but later changed to four times as bright as the moon. In reconstructing what was seen, these various 
estimates must be given low reliability. 

7. Details for the latter part of the sighting are sketchy. Both girls continued to watch the object for 20 or 30 min., while it 
intermittently behaved as described. It is not clear whether the display declined, but apparently it did. No further sound was heard 
or figures seen, and one of the girls stated that, by the time her mother returned home, about 10:00 p.m., the object was very dim 
though still visible. It was implied that the object dimmed in reaction to the approach of the car, but the girls were not clear on this 
lateraspect of the sighting. They apparently were tired of watching, and after showing the object to the mother, they went to bed. 
The mother apparently had not noticed the object when she returned to the house, until the girls pointed it out to her. Evidently it 
was not conspicuous enough to attract her attention as she drove into the yard. 

[[536]] 



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8. Nothing unusual was seen the next morning, and nothing was found to account for the sighting. The project investigators later ' 
searched the barn and the area beyond for burns, radioactivity, or other evidence, but found nothing significant. 

9. At the time of the sighting, the girls did not associate the figures with the luminous object, or the object with UFOs. The figures 
were assumed to be children; the object was the mystery. Later the girls decided that, since no children of the size they had seen 
lived nearby, there might be a stranger implication. 

Comment: 



Essentially, this sighting was a two-witness event with additional low-weight corroboration. The lack of independent witnesses is a 
weakness for which the marginal corroboration cannot compensate. Though no physical evidence was discovered that could account 
for the sighting, the possibility of illusory elements and distortions of memory leaves serious doubts as to the accuracy of the account. 

[[537]] 



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Condon Report, Case 34: Canadian Naval Maritime Command 



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Case 34 
North Atlantic 
Fall 1967 
Investigator: Levine 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

Information obtained in telephone interviews of officers of Canadian Naval Maritime Command and RCMP indicated that an object 
bearing several colored lights glided with a whistling noise into the sea. Search by boats and divers found no debris or wreckage. 
Investigation: 

On the basis of a report from James Lorenzen (APRO), project investigators telephoned several sources in the area. 

A watch officer at the Naval Maritime Command stated that reports indicated that an object about 60 ft. long with four lights on it had 
gone whistling into the sea; it flashed when it hit, and a white light remained on the water aftenA/ards. He stated that the original report 
had come from two teenagers, and that the Navy was searching for wreckage. No aircraft were reported missing in the area. He 
mentioned also that sightings had been reported throughout the year. 

A corporal of the RCMP stated that the first report had come from five young people, 15-20 yr. old, who while driving near the shore 
had seen three or four yellow lights in a horizontal pattern comparable in size to a "fair-sized" aircraft, descending at about 45° toward 
the water. The witnesses had lostsight of the object for about ten seconds while passing a small hill; they then saw a single white light 
on the water about where they estimated the object should have gone in. They observed the light while they drove on about .25 mi., 
then reported the incident to the RCMP detachment. 

[[538]] 



Two officers and the corporal had arrived about 1 5 min. later, in time to see the light on the water. It persisted about five minutes 
longer. Ten minutes after it went out, the two officers were at the site in a rowboat; a Coast Guard boat and six fishing boats also were 
on the scene. They found only patches of foam 30-40 yd. wide that the fishermen thought was not normal tide foam; the tide was 
ebbing, and the white light had appeared to drift with it. 

The site of the presumed impact was in between an island and the mainland, about 200-300 yd. offshore. Apparently no one actually 
saw anything enter the water. However two young women driving on the island reported that a horizontal pattern of three yellow lights 
had tilted and descended, and then a yellow light had appeared on the water. Another witness, about two miles from the site, saw a 
horizon- tal line of three red-orange lights descending at "aircraft speed," with a whistling sound like a falling bomb. He thought the 
object was like an aircraft. It disappeared behind some houses, and the sound ceased a second or two later. 

The RCMP corporal stated that the light on the water was not on any boat, that Air Search and Rescue had no report of missing 
aircraft in the area, and an RCAF radar station nearby reported no Canadian or U.S. air operations in the area at the time, nor any 
unusual radar object. The night was clear and moonless. A search by Navy divers during the days immediately following the sighting 
disclosed nothing relevant. 

Five days later the Naval Maritime Command advised the project that the search had been terminated. The watch officer read a report 
from the RCMP indicating that at the time in question a 60 ft. object had been seen to explode upon impact with the water. 

The captain of a fishing boat that had been about 16 mi. from the site of the earlier reports, reported to the project that he and his crew 
had seen three stationary bright red flishing lights on the water, trom sundown until about 1 1 :00 p.m. The ship's radar showed four 
objects forming a six mile square; the three lights were associated with one of these objects. At about 1 1 :00 p.m., one of the lights 

[[539]] 



went straight up. The captain had judged that the radar objects were naval vessels and the ascending light a helicopter; he had 
attached no significance to these observations until he had heard on the radio of the sightings; he then reported the foregoing 
observations to the RCMP. However, since the position he reported for the objects was about 175 n. mi. from the original site, the two 
situations do not appear to be related. 

No further investigation by the project was considered justifiable, particularly in view of the immediate and thorough search that had 
been carried out by the RCMP and the Maritime Command. 

[[540]] 



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Case 35 
South Pacific 
Fall 1967 

Investigators: Levine, Low, and others 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

The events began with a visual sighting about 8:00 p.m. of a stationary object with colored lights over the ocean. Missile-tracking 
radars were asked to look for the object; they immediately picked up many unidentified targets, most of them moving, and tracked 
them. Most moving targets permitted radar lock-on. They moved at speeds up to 80 knots, and sometimes returned very strong 
echoes. Several additional visual sightings were reported. Most sightings were made over the ocean, but some targets appeared to 
the east and north, over land. The radar targets were still being observed when the equipment was closed down about 2:30 a.m. Yet 
no aircraft were known to be in the area, and three flights of fighters sent in to investigate found nothing unusual. 

An unusually strong temperature inversion provided favorable conditions for both visual and radar mirage effects. Mirages of ships 
below the normal horizon appear to account adequately for the stationary or slow objects. The higher, faster radar targets were 
consistent with birds, which tracking-radar operators had not had occasion to look for before. Similar radar observations were 
reported on two subsequent days. 

Investigation: 

Project Blue Book had notified the Colorado project of this interesting visual and radar sighting at AFB A. It was also reported that, in 
a test three nights after the sighting, it had been estab- lished that radars at the base could once again observe "bogies" 

[[541]] 



similar to those sighted on the night of the original sighting. Project investigators and others visited the site on two different dates. On 
the latter day, the following were present: R. T. H. Collis, Roy Blackmer, and Carl Herold of Stanford Research Institute; Marx Brook of 
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology; Roger Lhermitte of the Environmental Science Services Administration; and Low and 
Levine of the Colorado project. On the first date Low and Dr. Robert Nathan of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory had visited AFB A. 

Observers. The AFB A sightings were exceptional because of the high professional qualifications of the observers. Two were 
officials of the Western Test Range, each having had 17 yr. of exper ience as a naval aviator. One of them had 10,000 hr. as an air 
intercept and final approach controller; the other also had been an air intercept controller. A third, who was Range Air Control Officer 
on the night of the first sighting had had 1 1 yr. experience with ground and airborne electronics systems. Six others were radar 
operators employed by private contractors on the base, all of whom had had extensive experience in radar operation. They displayed 
impressive understanding of the sophisticated radar systems they were operating and good comprehension of radar engineering 
principles. Another witness was of the security force, without extensive technical training. 

Radars. The following radars were involved in the sightings: 

• PPS-1 6 C-band tracking radar with 1 .2° beam. 

• TPQ-1 8 C-band tracking radar with 0.4° beam. GERTS X-band tracking and command radar usually used in beacon mode in 
which the radar transmission triggers a beacon carried by the vehicle being tracked but during the sightings used in skin-track 
mode, i.e., conventional radar operation in which the target is seen by reflected radiation from the transmitted pulse. 

• M33 X-band tracking radar. 

• ARC E R L-band search radar. 

[[542]] 



Details of the sightings. 2000 to 2045 For one-half hour a missile range official observed from his home an object at azimuth 290°. 
He called another official, also at home three miles to the south, who confirmed the sighting at azimuth approximately 280° and altitude 
1 0° to 1 5°. The second observer reported that the object seen through 7 X 50 binoculars, appeared the size of a large thumbtack, 
elliptical in shape having a red and green light separated by a distance about the wing span of an aircraft. But the object was 
stationary, and fuzzy like a spinning top. 

2045: Observer two called Range Control Operations (located at an altitude of 900-1 ,1 00 ft.). The range control officer confirmed the 
visual observation. To him it appeared to have white, red, and green or blue colors that did not vary. They "looked like the running 
lights on a stationary object." He gave its bearing as 290°, range, several miles, altitude approximately 10,000 ft., and suggested that 
the object looked like a helicopter. 

2045: FPS-16 radar in search mode locked on two strong targets, one moving around and one stationary. The stationary target 
appeared in the general direction of the visual sighting, but the optical position was not determined with sufficient accuracy to 



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establish that this was a simultaneous optical-visual sighting. The original interpretation was a helicopter, with another assisting. 

2100: The range control officer checked for possible air traffic in the AFB A area with several other air bases. All reported negatively. 

2100: Using its FPS-16 in lock-on automatic mode, base D reported strong targets headed toward AFB A. Because of the narrow 
beam of the radar the targets were presumed to be in line. 

2100: TPQ-18 radar at AFB A was brought into operation, and saw many targets. One, at 8 n.m. range, 4,000 ft. altitude, 290° 
azimuth, and 4°.6 elevation proceeded south at low speed. One strong target approached and went directly overhead. At one time, the 
TPQ-18 saw 

[[543]] 



four targets. Base D saw as many as eight. AFB A and base D did not establish that they were looking at the same targets. 

RADAR OBSERVATIONS 



a. Dozens of targets were seen. Speed ranged from 0 to 80 k. with rapid changes in altitudes. The radars would lose their tracking 
"locks" on the objects, and then re-engage. 

b. The target that went directly overhead produced an extremely strong 80 dB signal. Three persons went outside the radar shack, but 
were unable to see any object. On the TPQ-18 radar one of the strongest targets appeared to separate into eight objects after which it 
was necessary to switch to manual to gain control to separate the signal. 

c. NORAD surveillance radar at AFB A operates at a frequency quite different from the tracking radars. It saw no targets, but its 
operator reported clutter or possible jamming. 

d. Base D reported a target "bigger than any flat-top at three miles." 

e. As the radar activity increased, the number of visual obser- vations decreased. 

VISUAL SIGHTINGS 
(only the most interesting are described) 

a. Many objects were sighted, but they declined in frequency as the radar activity increased. 

b. One visual appeared to move toward the observers so alarmingly that one of them finally yelled, "Duck." 

c. One object, dull in color but showing red, white, and green, moved generally south and finally out of visual range. 

d. Another, the color of a bright fireball, moved on a zig-zag course from north to south. Two radar operators reported, "The radar 
didn't get locked onto what we saw. By the time the radar slaved to us, the object was gone visually, and the radar didn't see 
anything... It looked like a fireball coming down through there. Like a helicopter coming down the coast, at low elevation. We got the 
13-power telescope on it." Then it grew smaller and smaller until it disappeared. Duration 1.5-2 min. Moved only in azimuth. Brighter 
than a bright 

[[544]] 



star. Like aircraft landing lights except yellower. This sighting occurred between 0100 and 0200 on the second night. A balloon was 
released about this time, and the winds were right to accord with the sighting; but the weather officer thought it could not have been a 
balloon, because the report did not indicate that the object rose, and a balloon would have risen at approximately 1,000 fpm. 

f. Two other radar operators reported having seen an object that traversed 45° in a few seconds, "making four zigs and four zags," 
and then, after reappearing for one second, disappeared to the north. 

2310: Air Defense Command scrambled the first of three flights of fighters to investigate the situation. The tape of the conversations 
with the radar sites and other bases gave evidence of considerable confusion at this time. 

The fighters were handed off to AFB A Range Control by the FAA at a nearby city and controlled locally. Range Control tried to vector 
the fighters in on the bogies, but found it impossible to do so very systematically. By the time the second flight came in, the controllers 
were so busy with the aircraft that they no longer observed any unidentified targets. They did observe a moderate amountof clutter in 
the west and southwest quadrant. None of the fighter pilots saw anything. One pilot observed something repeatedly on his infrared 
detector, but only at distance. As soon as he would close in, the object would disappear. Another aircraft did "lock-on" to a target 
which was found to be a ship. 

Weather. The weather officer reported that there was an inversion layer at 1 ,800-2,200 ft. (The unidentified targets generally were 
reported to be above the inversion). All observers indicated that the night was exceedingly clear. The project's consulting 
meteorologist reports: 



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The following is a sumnnary of weather conditions surrounding UFO visual and radar sightings near .... [AFB A] between 
7:30 P.M. and midnight on .... [the date of the first sighting]. 

[[545]] 







5/ 















Figure 4: Vandenberg Weather 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[546]] 



SOURCES OF DATA 
Radiosonde and wind data from- 
.... [AFBA, island A, city A] 

Surface weather observations surrounding the times of sightings from- 
.... [city B, C, D, E; AFB A, B, C; base D] 
GENERAL WEATHER SITUATION 

In a weather sequence which moved a trough line and a low pressure center southeastward from northwestern Utah to 
northwest Texas.... [the day prior to the first sighting], a dome of high pressure formed over the Great Basin and a surge of 
warm air moved from northeast to southwest.... Most of the surge of warm air moved southwestward from the southern part 

of the Valley between midnight.... [the day before the sighting] and 3:00 P.M [the day of the sighting]. Weather 

stations near the coast from ....[city B] to ....[city D] all showed abnormally warm temperatures at a time of day when 
ordinarily a sea breeze would have created a cooling influence. 

THE OVER-OCEAN FLOW OF WARM DRY AIR 

Using surface wind data from various coastal stations it is possible to reconstruct an approximate pattern of the fonA/ard 
edge of the warm, dry air which moved out over the ocean from a general northeasterly direction. For most stations, fairly 
strong northeasterly winds were maintained through 1 1 :00 A.M. (see Fig. 4) with northeast winds continuing until 3:00 P.M. 
at the surface at ....[AFB B]. 

[[547]] 



The upper wind flow from 1000' to 7000' was still from an easterly component at ....[island A] shortly after 3:00 P.M. By 
4:00 P.M. air was still moving from an easterly component between 3000' and 10,000' over.. ..[AFB A]. Near the surface 
westerly winds were beginning to move the warm air back toward the east and southeast. This air had been cooled and 
some moisture had been added during its stay over the ocean. 

During most of the afternoon hours the modified a/r moved from the ocean back over the coastal area. Some of the 
strongest evidence of the bulge of warm air over the ocean is indicated by the warm, dry air that moved over ....[city D] 
between the hours of noon and 5:00 P.M. With surface wind directions from 240° through 300°, temperatures held above 
80° with maximum of 90°. A portion of the heating of this air would have been caused by dynamic heating as it it moved 
downslope from the .... mountains. 

The abnormality of the warm air is indicated in Figures 5 and 6 by the approximate difference in air temperatures between 
6:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. The blue profile normal.... temperature [the date of the first sighting] was made up from long 
term average maximum and minimum temperatures and an assumed sea breeze influence. The red shaded area 
indicates the approximate abnormality of warm temperatures on this day as warm, dry air moved from land toward the 
ocean as compared with typical weather for.... [the date of the first sighting]. The hatched area shows the abnormality 
remaining after the air had been modified by its path over water. 

[[548]] 



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Figure 5: Time/Temp Charts 
Click on tliumbnail to see full-size image. 



[[549]] 

I 




Figure 6: Time/Temp Charts 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[550]] 



REFRACTION RESPONSE TO WARM, DRY AIR 

When warm, dry air is forced to move from a land mass out over cooler water it creates a narrow boundary of mixing as 
moisture is picked up from the ocean developing small turbulent eddies of cooler, more moist air near the ocean surface. 
This is accompanied by very rapid fluctuations of refractive index. At the upper edge of the bulge of warm, dry airthere 
would be another more difuse boundary where some- what less sharp differences in both temperature and moisture would 
be present. However, there would be corresponding fluctuations in refractive index. 

The Glossary of Meteorology defines a mirage as "a refraction phenomenon wherein an image of some object is made to 
appear displaced from its true position.. .The abnormal refraction response for mirages is invariably associated with 
abnormal temperature distribution that yield abnormal spatial variations in the refractive index. Complex temperature 
distributions produce correspondingly complex mirages." 

The layer of warm, dry air above cooler water from the ocean would have been particularly conducive to anomalous 
propagation of any radar unit scanning the atmosphere at low angles. A somewhat less important segment of the air mass 
capable of producing anomalous propagation on the radar would have been the upper boundary of the bulge of warm dry 
air. The following is quoted from Battan's book on RADAR METEOROLOGY under the heading of Meteorological 
Conditions Associated with Non-standard Refraction. "There are various ways that the index of refraction can be modified 
to give rise to anomalous 

[[551]] 



propagation... When warm, dry air moves over cooler bodies of water, the air is cooled in the lowest layers, while at the 
same time mois- ture is added. In this way strong ducts are produced. These conditions are frequently found over the 
Mediterranean Sea as air blows off the African continent. Extreme anomalous propagation has been experienced in this 
region. For example, there have been days when centimeter radar sets have 'seen' ground targets at ranges of 400-500 
miles, even though the horizon was at perhaps 20 miles. In conformance with meteorological terminology, superrefraction 
brought about bythe movement of warm, dryairovera cool, moist surface maybe called 'advective superrefraction.' By 
the nature of the processes involved, it can be seen that such conditions can occur during either the day or the night and 
last for long periods of time. The duration would depend on the persistency of the glow patterns producing the advection." 

Figure 7 contains the wind and temperature profiles for ....[island A] and ....[AFB A] beginning with release times of 3:15 
P.M. and 4:08 P.M. PST respectively on ....[the date of the first sighting]. At ....[AFB A] (shown bythe solid lines of 
temperature, dew point, wind direction and velocity) dry air prevailed for all levels above the surface at: 4:00 P.M. (For the 
lomst point on the profile, surface temperatures reported at 7:30 P.M. have been substituted). The vertical sounding of j 



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Condon Report, Case 35: Lights over ocean, missile-tracking radar involvement 



temperature, dew point, wind velocity and direction for 
Temperatures even warmer 



.[island A] are indicated by the dashed lines in Figure 7. 



9/25/2014 



[[552]] 



















■A 






















4 :; 


















■ .. , J J . 





Figure 7: Wind/Temp Profiles 
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image. 

[[553]] 



than over ....[AFB A] were reported in the ascent above ....[island A]. For emphasis, the area shaded in red indicates how 
much warmer the temperatures were over ....[island A] than at ....[AFB A] during the mid-afternoon hours. Ocean water 
temperatures between 58° and 59° were being reported, which is considerably cooler than the warm, dry air having 
temperature in the 80's as it moved from land to over the water. 

CONCLUSION 

It is the author's opinion that the surge of very warm, dry air may have caused a mirage and visual observations could have 
been correspondingly distorted in the vicinity of ....[AFB A] between 7:30 P.M. and 8:30 P.M. It is more certain that the air 
mass conditions prevailing over the water continuing through at least midnight in an arc from south of ....[AFB A] swinging 
eastward to the coastline could have produced anomalous propagation echoes on radar. Visibility observations were 
generally 12 miles or greater at all stations and no clouds were reported by the observer at ....[AFB A] between 7:00 P.M. 

and midnight [base D] reported a few stratus clouds offshore in the Remarks Column beginning at 7:00 P.M. continuing 

through 11:00 P.M. 

Evaluation and Conclusions: 

Further radar tests. Three days after the first sighting, under weather conditions similar to the first day but with more wind, more 
clouds, and lower temperatures, the FPS-16 radar at.. ..[AFB A] was operated to determine if similar targets could be seen again. 
Targets having the same general characteristics were acquired, but they were 

[[554]] 



not as strong as the earlier sightings. Two other operators, working unofficially with a different radar, indicated that they observed 
"some of the same sort of stuff." 

On the night of the investigators' second visit, similar targets were acquired on the FPS-16 and TPQ-18 radars. The radar experts 
among those present (Blackmer, Brook, Collis, Herold, Lhermitte) immediately requested that printouts be obtained giving information 
on signal strength. This information could not be compared with earlier sightings because the operators had not taken steps to print 
out the data from the other observations. 

General conclusions. The AFB A series of sightings is remarkable for two reasons; first, because of the extraordinarily high 
qualifications of the observers, and second, because of the availability of hard instrument data. No other UFO case in the records of 
the Colorado project contains so many numbers, representing such quantities as range, azimuth, elevation, and velocity. Information 
from which signal strengths could have been computed also would have been available had the operators thought to print it out, but 
they did not. To relate signal strengths and ranges for these events, it was necessary to go back to the tape of the conversations and 
find the reports of signal strengths, which, when assigned precise times (fortunately, the tape contained good timing references), could 
be compared with the printouts of range, which also included timing references. Information on the visual sightings was, except for the 
high credibility of the observers, comparable to that in other reports of UFO sightings in the Colorado files: i.e., no reliably measured 
quantitative values were available from such sightings. 

Mirage conditions. The detailed weather study by Loren Crow was not available at the time of the second trip to AFB A, so that it 
was not known at that time that the atmospheric conditions were in fact quite unusual. Fig. 7 of the Crow report indicates that at AFB 
A, although return air flow at the surface was well established by the late afternoon of the original sighting, the flow at 2,000 ft. was still 
from the northeast, so that a thin sheet of warm, dry air lay over the 

[[555]] 



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Condon Report, Case 35: Lights over ocean, missile-tracking radar involvement 9/25/2014 

cool, moist air. This sheet of air extended southward almost to the island, where there was return flow from the surface to 3,000 ft., but 
easterly flow persisted from 3,000-10,000 ft. There were strong gradients of moisture and temperature at both stations. Crow has 
pointed out that the temperature and moisture contrasts probably were even greater than those shown, because the surface 
measurements were not made at the surface, but at some distance above it. Altogether the weather report indicates that conditions 
were very favorable indeed for optical mirage and scintillation and for anomalous radar propagation. 

It should be noted that the incident that set off the entire sequence of events was an optical sighting at 8:00 p.m. It appears highly 
probable that the observer saw the running lights of a ship below the normal horizon, but made visible as a result of mirage. The 
conditions for such a mirage were present, but it must be pointed out that both the first two witnesses insisted emphatically that the 
object appeared at an elevation of about 1 0°. That is too high for a mirage of a ship's lights below the horizon. Hence, either their 
reports of the elevation angle were incorrect, or some other explanation must be found. However, even experienced observers tend to 
overestimate elevation angles. 

A further fact is of interest, and that is that, in the Operations Control Center on the date of the second visit to AFB A, one of the 
operators of a search radar declared that he never saw any ships, that the shipping lanes were too far off the coast for ships to be 
seen by radar from that location, although the antenna was at an altitude of approximately 1 ,000 ft. He thereupon switched to his most 
distant range (80 mi.) and immediately a sprinkling of blips appeared at extreme range. They turned out to be ships, their identity 
confirmed by their slow speed. Since there is no reason to suppose, from a quick study of weather conditions that night, that 
anomalous propagation had anything to do with the observation of ships, it must be concluded that they could be seen anytime. The 
only reasonable explanation of the operator's statement that he never saw ships on the scope is that 

[[556]] 



he had never looked for them. Both the original witnesses indicated that large ships never were seen visually from the coast, and that 
is undoubtedly correct, because they would be below the horizon. Computations show, however, that, under mirage conditions, the 
running lights of ships would be visible at the 80 mi. range the radars had indicated. 

Some of the visual sightings obviously were not of ships. However, they were impossible to evaluate on the basis of the limited and 
subjective descriptions given. In this connection, it is significant to note the importance of quantitative instrument observations or 
records in such investigations. The visual objects could not be evaluated with much confidence, for lack of definitive evidence; but 
abundant quantitative radar records made it possible to identify most of the radar targets beyond serious doubt. 

Birds. The behavior and characteristics of the unidentified radar targets appeared to be consistent with the hypothesis that most of 
them were birds. Individual birds would produce signal strengths consistent with those observed. (The targets observed the night of 
the second visit to AFB A, according to calculations made by Dr. Lhermitte, yielded a radar cross section of approximately 1 0 cm.^). 
The velocities and coherent tracks of the targets also suggested consistency with the bird hypothesis. 

In view of the remarkable inversion conditions on the date of the original sighting, it is highly probable that some of the radar targets 
were effects of anomalous propagation (radar mirages). Temperature and moisture gradients were quite sufficient to produce echoes 
from atmospheric discontinuities. 

At first, even the radar experts were puzzled by the radar data, because the remarkably strong echo signals returned by some of the 
targets suggested much larger objects than birds. Their confusion was resolved when it became apparent from comparisons of range 
data and concurrent signal strengths that the very strong signals were always associated with targets at close range. A radar echo 

[[557]] 



declines in strength proportionally to the fourth power of the distance of the target from the antenna, so that even a small target at 
unusually short range can produce a very strong signal. Also, the pulse power of the tracking radars was much greater than that of the 
more familiar search radars, and they were normally used to track relatively distant rockets. Consequently, their use in the 
unaccustomed search mode drew attention to the deceptively strong signals from very near targets. 

No attempt had been made during the sightings to associate ranges and signal strengths. Had someone asked, "When you get an 
80-dB signal, what range do you read?" the evening probably would have ended differently. Future radar operating procedures might 
very well provide that, when unidentified targets are causing concern, ranges and signal strengths be correlated. Apparently no formal 
procedure existed at the time of the sightings for use in identifying unusual radar targets such as insects, sidelobe echoes, anomalous 
echoes from object on the ground, etc. In the absence of such a procedure, the operators involved in this case handled the situation 
reasonably. 

Comments: 

Some comments in a letter from Mr. Collis are particularly pertinent: 

I think that the .... incident could be a landmark case in the whole area of UFO studies. It combines so many factors. Firstly, 
the incident involved a whole complex of associated events which were reported by the most respectable observers. It 
combined multiple radar and multiple optical sightings. It occurred very recently and a substantial amount of recorded, data 
is available- i.e., the TPQ 18 radar records and the meteorological data. At least in part, the radar echo phenomena were 
repeatable and were observed by 

[[558]] 



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Condon Report, Case 35: Lights over ocean, missile-tracking radar involvement 



9/25/2014 



design on subsequent occasions. It was sufficiently strange to cause interceptor aircraft to be sent off to investigate it in 
the heat of the moment, and also to cause the local and visiting experts considerable perplexity even in the cool light of 
day. We thus have a wonderful opportunity not only to study the physical nature of the incident but also to study the 
psychological implications of such incidents. 

It would seem that most of the inexplicability of the events in this case (and possibly in many others) arises not from the 
facts themselves, (i.e., the specific sightings, etc., at any given instant) but in the interpretation made and significance 
attached to them when they were considered in inappropriate juxtapositions. The way in which this was done at the time 
under operational pressures and even subsequently provided, in my opinion, a most important object lesson. 

It does indeed! The lesson is that the "flap" could have been avoided if the radar operators had been acquainted with the kinds of 
targets they might pick up in search mode, especially during anomalous atmospheric conditions. It is unlikely that such a "flap" will 
occur again at AFB A in such circumstances; but it can happen elsewhere unless this experience is communicated through 
appropriate operating procedures or in some other manner, to other operators of powerful tracking radars. 

[[559]] 



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Condon Report, Case 35: Vandenberg AFB & Vicinity 



9/25/2014 




Figure 4 

Vandenberg AFB Weather Situation 



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Condon Report, Case 35: Vandenberg AFB area - Time/Temp Charts 



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VANDEMBERG AFB 



SANTA MARIA 



KEY 



TO - 
kL 60- 

UJ 



a: ^ 

UJ 

|il SO- 



TO - 



so 



50 



OCT. 6, 1967 

NORMAL 

m WARM AIR -LAND TO OCEAN 

MODIFIED AIR - 
OCEAN TO LAND 




SANTA BARBARA 





OXNARD AFB 




J I L_l I I 



I ] I I I I I I 

06 08 10 12 14 16 18 20 06 OS 10 l£ 14 16 18 20 

HOURS 



Figure 5 



Vandenberg AFB Weather Situation 
(Charts of Warm Air Abnormalities) 



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Condon Report, Case 36: Pt Mugu/Long Beach - Time/Temp Charts 



9/25/2014 



PT. MUGU 



LONG BEACH 



90 r- 



O 60 

UJ 
Q 

LJ 

^ 70 
< 

cr 

0, 60 
UJ 



50 




I 



I I I 



06 OB \0 \2 !4 16 \B 20 




I I I I r 



J 



06 08 10 12 14 \6 18 20 



HOURS 



Figure 6 



Vandenberg AFB Weather Situation 
(Charts of Warm Air Abnormalities, Pt IVIugu & Long Beach) 



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Condon Report, Case 35: Vandenberg AFB area - Wind/Temp Profiles 



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VANDENBERG AFB. o — o TEMP 

•-'^OEW POINT 
SAN NICOLAS IS. v. — * 



RELATfVE HUMDfTY 



o — o VEUDCITY 
m- '-^ DIRECTION 

KNOTS '^- -^ WIND VEUOCITY 
5 




SAN NICOLAS IS. 



IWJD0«£RG AFB 



0°fC) »o 10* S 20* 



30^ 



W NW N NE 

WIND DiRECTION 



Figure 7 



Vandenberg AFB Weather Situation 
(Wind & Temperature Profiles) 



J 



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Condon Report, Case 36: Fireball Meteor 



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Case 36 
South Mountain 
Fall 1967 
Investigator: Wadsworth 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

Four independent witnesses saw a glowing, rapidly moving object that was evidently a "fireball" meteor. 
Investigation: 

A University Professor in the South Mountain area supplied statements from four apparently independent witnesses of an aerial event 
for possible interest. 

1 . About 9:05 a.m., a man on a golf course six miles east of the city saw a glowing yellow and blue-green cylindrical object cross 
the sky northward at high speed. 

2. About 9:00 a.m., a commercial pilot flying about six miles southeast of the city saw a glowing yellow and blue-green cylindrical 
object travelling northward on a descending path at very high speed. It exploded or deteriorated in midair as it approached the 
White Mountain area. He judged it was a meteor. 

3. About 9:00 a.m., a rancher and mine-mill worker, north of town, saw a very bright object travelling at highspeed northward on a 
descending path. It exploded in the air. 

4. About 10:00 a.m. a mining assayer driving west on the highway six miles eastof town saw a cylindrical object glowing a metallic 
blue-green as it passed in front of him, travelling northward at high speed. 

Sighting Features: 

The four sightings are summarized in Table 5. The preponderance of similar features indicates a single event. Only in the 

[[560]] 



Table 5 



NCAS Editors' Note: We have reversed the rowand column orientation of this table in the interest of readability 


Sighting | 


1 


2 


3 


4 


Time 


9:05 a.m. 


9:00 a.m. 


9:00 a.m. 


10:00 a.m. 


Location 


6 mi. E of city 


Gmi.SEof 


N of city 


6 mi. E of city 


Shape 


Cylinder 


Cylinder 




Cylinder 


Color 


Brilliant yellow body surrounded 
by blue green welding color 


Bright yellow core, blue- 
green shell 


Glowing (no specific 
color) 


Metallic blue-green 
glowing 


Size 


200 ft. long 3 ft. diam. 






4 ft. long 


Speed 


Very fast 


Very fast 


Very fast 


Very fast 


Path 


Northward descending toward 
White Mt. 


Northward descending 
45° toward White Mt. 


Northward descending 


Northward straight 
toward White Mt. 


Duration 


2-3 sec. 






2-3 sec. J 


Distance 


1 mi. 


1 mi. 


Appeared quite far 
away (couldn't 
estimate) 


1 50 ft. ahead of car 


Disappearance 


Vanished on course toward 
base of mountains 


Exploded or 
deteriorated in air 






Other 


Short tapered tail 


Shortfall Thought it was' 
meteor 




May have had a tail 
or exhaust 



[[561]] 



fourth sighting is there some reason for doubt. The discrepancies in distance and size are hardly significant because such estimates 
are characteristically inaccurate. Further, these are consistent in that the ratios of size to distance estimated by witness I and II are 
roughly similar. These two witnesses were very near each other, and their accounts are similar except for the one hour discrepancy in 



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Condon Report, Case 36: Fireball Meteor 9/25/2014 

time. However, witness I was prompted to report his experience by hearing a report of witness IV's experience on the radio, and so ' 
may have been influenced by it. 

The time discrepancy of one hour has not been accounted for. The preponderance of evidence indicates an error in the time reported 
by witness IV, but is just as possible that two meteoric fragments came in on similar patterns an hour apart. 

Reports of the first and fourth sightings were sent to Dr. Charles P. Olivier of the American Meteor Society, who stated that both 
accounts showed "every indication of being rather typical daylight fireball reports." 

Comment: 

It is concluded that probably a single event was witnessed by four observers, and that the object was a "fireball" meteor. 

[[562]] 



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Condon Report, Case 37: Planets Venus & Jupiter 



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Case 37 
South Eastern 
Fall 1967 
Investigators: Craig, Ahrens 



BACK to Chapter 2 



Abstract: 

Law enforcement officers in several communities reported seeing, chasing, and being chased by unidentified bright objects in the 
early morning hours on four successive days. One object was reportedly detected by a ground radar unit while the object was being 
pursued by two men in a small aircraft. Pictures had been taken. Lengthy interviews of observers, including participants in the airplane 
pursuit, established clearly that the pursued object was the planet Venus. Jupiter was also involved in some of the reports. 

Background: 

Initial reports of an UFO sighting suggested that it was an event with unsurpassed UFO information content: A large bright object was 
seen, that approached as close as 500 ft., and was pursued by reliable observers in different communities; it had been seen 
repeatedly on successive mornings, and might be expected therefore to reappear while an investigator was on the scene. The pilot of 
a light aircraft had reportedly seen the object rise from the river below while ground observers were watching it, and had pursued it in 
vain as it sped away from him; FAA traffic control radar had allegedly reported that returns from both the aircraft and the unidentified 
object had appeared on the radarscope during the chase. Photographs allegedly had been taken which showed both a bright object 
near the horizon during a pre-dawn chase and an apparently solid "sombrero"-shaped object photographed in a wooded section of 
the same general area by a 1 3-year-old boy in the afternoon. 

The main observers of the pre-dawn phenomenon were law erforcement officers on duty in 1 1 communities in the central part of the 
state. 

[[563]] 



Police officers, sheriffs officers, and highway patrolmen were involved, sometimes in radio communication with each other during a 
sighting and pursuit. The object fled from and then pursued police cars at speeds up to 70 mph, and came close enough to one police 
car to light up the interior of the car so brightly that wristwatches could be read. It also changed color and shape while under 
observation. 

Investigation: 

The most detailed reports, as well as the airplane chase and the photographs, centered around a town of 1 1 ,000 population. Town A. 
These reports were investigated by the project team. Reports from the other towns generally fit into the same pattern, and were 
assumed to arise from the same type of observation. Each aspect of the reports was investigated in turn. 

Radar Confirmation: 

Recorded conversation between the pilot and the Flight Control radar operator, indicated the pilot was chasing an UFO, which he said 
had risen from the river area below and was now moving away from him. The radar operator said he had a target on the scope, which 
he assumed to be the plane. He also said he had a second target, seen intermittently for a duration of about one minute. The pilot was 
heading at 110°, directly toward the object. This direction seemed to be consistent with the assumption that the second target was the 
chased UFO. The time was 5:40 - 5:58 am., EDT. 

The pilot said the object was about 1 ,000 ft. above him, apparently over a small town. Town D. On first contact with the Flight Control 
the Cessna was at an altitude of 2,500 ft. climbing as it chased the UFO. The pilot said the object was a very bright light, which he 
could not catch. He could not match its altitude or speed. He said the object moved toward the ground at times, but maintained an 
altitude above them at all times. It moved away when they chased it, and came back when they turned. 

[[564]] 



The radar operator said at the time that the target on his screen was heading at 1 1 0°, but he didn't know whether his target was the 
airplane or UFO. Later, thinking about his experience he left word at the radar tower that he wasn't at all sure he had seen a second 
target. Contacted later by phone, the operator stated that he never did identify the plane, much less a second object. He had one 
steady target, which he assumed to be the aircraft, since it disappeared when the pilot said he was at 2,500 ft. and returning to the 
airport. The intermittent target painted only on two sweeps in about a minute. This was on an ASR-5 radar (which would make 1 0 or 
12 sweeps per minute). It was early in the morning, the operator was somewhat tired at the time, according to his own words. He was 
quick to point out that the "intermittent target" was not a "good paint", and could well have been a ghost return. 

Ground Observation: 



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Of the numerous law enforcement officers associated witli tlie reports, one of tlie police lieutenants, a veteran of 1 1 years on the force, 
was asked to describe the sightings. He had participated in all the sightings reported from his town. His account of the event follows: 

(First Observation) 

A. The object was the closest the first night we saw it. We first noticed it at 4:36 a.m., EDT Friday, October 20. At first, I 
thought it was a new street light we had never seen before, but as we got closer, it began moving away. We followed the 
object, which was then a bright red, football-shaped light, for about eight miles out into the country. It appeared to be as big 
as the moon in the sky. We lost sight of it, and headed back into town. 

This object, whatever it was, caught up with us as we approached the city limits. The other officer started making a pretty 
scared sound and pointing out behind us. That is when I turned around and saw it. 

[[565]] 



It lit the police car enough inside to make the hands on your wristwatch visible. The whole surroundings were lit up. I 
radioed in that we were being followed by a flying object. I didn't know what it was, but it was following us. I could see the 
object in the rear-view mirror, but when we stopped the car and I got out, it veered away and disappeared behind the 
trees. 

After we returned to town and got a third officer to come out with us, the object had started climbing and had gotten about 
twice the height of the tree line. We observed the object for about 20 minutes. It changed from bright red to orange, then to 
real white-looking. The object then appeared to change its shape from round to the shape of a giant four-leaf clover. 

Our radio operator contacted the officers in Town C. In a few minutes they radioed back, and said they had the object in 
sight. It was to the east of us, apparently hovering over Town B. From Town 0, it was to the west and appeared to be 
between Town A and Town B. We had it between the two of us. 

I started back into town, and then is when it started moving south at a very high rate of speed. 

(QUESTION: You said earlier that it crossed over the top of the police car. Did it get directly overhead?) No, sir, I didn't 
mean it came directly over the car. It came over the wooded area, over the top of the trees, and appeared right behind the 
car. I would say it was maybe 500 feet behind us and maybe 500 or 600 feet high, roughly guessing. When I did stop the 
car and jump out, I did see it when it went back. 

(QUESTION: What direction were you travelling when the object reappeared behind the car?) The car was headed in a 
westward direction. 

[[566]] 



(QUESTION: In what manner did the object finally disappear this first night that you saw it?) We watched it until it climbed 
and took a position in the sky. It climbed to such a height that it appeared to be a star, and that is where it was hanging 
when I got off duty at 7 o'clock and went home. It was still visible, and looking like a star at that time. 

(Second Observation) 

B. Although the object was reported from another town on the morning of [Day 2], it was not seen that morning in [Town A], 
but it was seen here [on days 1,3,4, and 5]. 

Sunday morning, [Day 3] , I believe it was about ten minutes till two, or ten after two, when we got a phone call from a 
gentleman . . . who was on the outskirts of town. He said an object had followed him down the highway. We went out to 
look for it, and two objects were clearly visible. This was the first morning that two objects were spotted. You can't see the 
higher object until the other comes to view, then there appears this other object directly over it. It appears to be 5,000 to 
6,000 feet above the lower object. The second object is as bright as the first, but higher and smaller. 

(QUESTION: In what manner did these objects eventually disappear?) The sky was clear. When I left at 7 o'clock the two 
objects were still hanging in the sky ~ way up high. 

(QUESTION: Were they staying about the same distance apart?) Yes. Maybe they had drifted off some, but not too much. 
About 8:30 or a quarter to nine, after the sun had come up, these objects were still visible, and I showed them to my 
parents at that time. The objects were still there when I went tn bed. 

[[567]] 



The lower object looked like a piece of floating tin foil, it looked flat, with a bent place in it. The higher object was round, 
and stationary in one place ~ it was not bobbing and floating like the other one. 

(Third Observation) 



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Condon Report, Case 37: Planets Venus & Jupiter 



C. Monday, Day 4. This is the morning the airplane went up. 



9/25/2014 



1 



Other people had already spotted it when we went out. The first object was in view. It was bright, star-like. While we 
watched it, the second object appeared through the trees - down and to the left of the first object. This was about a quarter 
to five. 

The pilots scrambled to the airport, and went up after the object. We guided the pilots in to the object - they had gone past 
it when they were looking for the object, and, after they got back into range, we told him where to look. He said there were 
hundreds of objects up there -- they were stars, I guess. I turned the police car lights on to show the direction of the object. 
When I turned him directly into it, he said he had it in sight - he saw it. I thought he didn't see it, because he flew under it. 

The object bobbed and moved upward, but did not move to the side as it was pursued by the plane. I thought, if it tried to 
escape the plane, it would move to one side or the other, but it just moved upward. 

(QUESTION: Did the object appear to get dimmer or smaller, as if it might be moving away from you and the airplane?) 
No, it didn't appear to get dimmer. I couldn't tell that it was moving away from the airplane. 

(QUESTION: How did this objectfinally disappear?) Again, it was still hanging in the sky at 7:30, above the city hall. 

[[568]] 



The Airplane Chase of the UFO: 

The pilot, who flies forest service patrol for the County Forestry Commission and had some 4,000 hrs. flying time, and a companion, 
formerly with the County Sheriff's Department, took off in a Cessna aircraft shortly after 5 a.m., in an effort to catch the object sighted 
from the ground. They were in radio contact with the [Town A] airport, and through the airport with the sheriff's officers and others on 
the ground with walkie-talkies, as well as with the radar operator at the Flight Control Center. 

The pilot and his associate were interviewed by project investigators, who wanted particularly to know if they themselves had actually 
observed the object's rising from the river area below them, as the pilot stated it had in his recorded radio conversation, or if the 
statement was a mere repetition of the claim of ground observers. 

The pilot said when they first started looking for the object, they were looking low, near the ground. One light they spotted proved to be 
a yard light. They couldn't find the object at first. Ground observers then got word to them that it was behind them - they had passed it. 
They turned back, still looking low, when the word came "It's above you". They had seen a light above before, but hadn't paid any 
attention to it, apparently assuming it was a star. Now they did see the object, and started chasing it. "When we flew directly toward it, 
it backed off, decreasing in size until it was only about the size of the head of a pencil. We went up to about 3,500 ft., but it kept 
moving higher and away from us." 

The pilot was strongly impressed with the great decrease in the size of the object as it "receded" from the plane. When he first spotted 
the object, it appeared to him one-half to two-thirds the size of the moon. It decreased to a fraction of its original size. He said he was 
awakened about 5 a.m., and they landed the plane, after giving up the chase, about 6 a.m. He said the color 

[[569]] 



of the object was a constant brilliant white. As they gave up the chase and returned to [Town A], the object moved back to about its 
original position, and was still there when he landed. 

Reports from other towns: 

1 ) Town E, sighting early Sunday, Day 3 

As reported in local newspapers, a highway patrolman at a state patrol station near [Town E] spotted two UFOs ~ one ice blue and 
about a mile high and the other one a yellow rectangle-shaped object with a red side which was about 1 00 yd. above the trees. 

Another [Town E] patrolman there said he chased a ball of light down a road just outside [Town Ej. The object was traveling above 
tree-top level. According to the patrolman's report, "It was a good distance in front of us, pulling away, so we turned around to come 
back to town. The object turned on us and followed. It gained on us and was going about 75 mph. After the object caught up with us, it 
pulled into the sky, emitting a beam of bluish light that illuminated the roadway." 

Newspaper accounts stated also that a [Town E] police officer said a dark blue ball chased him and then hovered over [Town E] until 
daybreak. (The implication is that this experience involved a different officer than the one just mentioned; however, this might be 
another reference to the same experience.) 

2) Additional Reports 

A patrolman of [Town F] police department summarized reports of sightings on [Day 1] as follows. This summary is included as an 
example of the extent of the UFO activity [in this area]. All objects described were noiseless. 

[[570]] 



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UFO Report 0505 hours, Day 1 

Lt. A, [Town A] Police Department, reported that Patrolman B and Patrolman C, [also of Town A] Police Department, reported sighting 
a sphere-shaped object approximately 25 ft. in diameter, red, white flashing red, green and white lights, traveling south from [Town L]. 

[Town D] Police Department reported an object as above traveling south from [Town D] . Patrolmen D and E, [Town C] Police 
Department, reported sighting four objects described as above traveling northeast. Patrolmen F and C of [Town G] Police Department 
reported an object described as above traveling east from [Town G] Patrolman C from [Town G] Police Department followed the 
object east . . . 

The County Sheriff's Office reported sighting an object described as above traveling east. 
[Town H] Police Department reported an object described as above traveling west. 
[Town J] Police Department . . . reported an object described as above traveling east from [Town J]. 
[Town K] Police Department reported an object traveling west. 

[Town L] Police Department reported two objects - one traveling south and one traveling east. 
Relevant Information 

During the period [days 1-5] Venus had a magnitude of -4.2; Jupiter's magnitude was -1 .5. Venus rose about 2:50 a.m. local standard 
time. Jupiter rose about 40 min. earlier, the time difference varying a few minutes each day. The tremendous brightness of Venus 
made its appearance spectacular, and it had been the cause of numerous UFO reports across the country for weeks prior to these 
dates. 

[[571]] 



The moon which was full 1 5 days later, was shining in the western sky during the early morning hours. The bright star Capella also 
could be seen to the west (northwest) during the early morning hours. 

Analysis of the UFO Observation 

The fact that the UFO's reappeared each day during early morning hours suggested immediately that the sightings might be related to 
the earth's rotation. Timing with the appearance of Jupiter and Venus to the east, and the fact that most reports showed the UFO or 
UFOs to be to the east, made the investigators suspect immediately that the appearance of Venus, plus suggestion and unfettered 
imagination, might account for most, perhaps all, of the UFO reports in this series. Sleepiness and fatigue also could have been 
significant factors, since some police officers involved had been working double shift. 

Initial checks showed the radar confirmation of the presence of the UFO to be so tenuous as to be essentially non-existent. 

The airplane pilot revealed that he had not actually observed the UFOs "rising from the river area," but had merely repeated the claims 
of ground observers that it had done so. His description of the chase fits nicely with the hypothesis that he was chasing a planet. The 
apparent recession of the object, with apparent diminishing size, could be accounted for by his rising above a haze layer which, by 
dispersion of light, caused a magnified appearance of the planet when he was at a lower altitude (See Section VI, Chapter 2). All 
reports indicated a heavy mist or haze did exist over the river area each morning when the UFOs were observed. 

When the investigators suggested to the pilot that he might have been chasing the planet Venus, and explained the reasons for its 
unusual appearance, the pilot felt that this might possibly have been the case. 

[[572]] 



As for ground observations, besides daily reappearance, the fact that the object or objects each day eventually took a position in the 
sky and looked like stars was taken as confirmation that the UFOs indeed were planets. The positions they eventually "took in the sky" 
were the positions known to be occupied at the time by Venus and Jupiter. The police observers were shown the planet Venus during 
late morning hours. (Venus was quite visible during the day during this period, but was noticed only if one knew precisely where to 
look.) They all agreed that the appearance was the same as their UFO after it "took its position" after sun-up. 

Conclusion: 

The conclusion that the reported UFOs were misinterpretations of sightings of planets, particularly of Venus, seems not only tenable 
but imperative. 

Photographs: 

The series of photographs taken during a pre-dawn chase showed a light near the eastern horizon, and was not of special interest. 
The other pair of photographs, showing an apparently solid object, shaped much like the outline of a sombrero, suspended over a 
clearing in the woods, was taken by a lone 13-year-old boy who had taken his Polaroid camera into the woods to hunt UFOs. His hunt 
had been successful, and he got two pictures of the object before it flew away. His pictures apparently were taken with the sun shining 



http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/condonreport/full_report/case37.htm 



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Condon Report, Case 37: Planets Venus & Jupiter 



9/25/2014 



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directly on the camera lens, diffusing light onto the film and causing the UFO image to appear in very poor contrast with the back- 
ground. 



The photographs were examined by Dr. W. K. Hartmann who commented that while the lack of contact made the appearance 
consistent with the claim that the object was at a considerable distance, the poorquality of the photographs prohibited significant 
quantitative tests. The photographs themselves were thus not of high enough 

[[573]] 



quality to allow determination of the size or distance of the object photographed. It is believed that the object photographed had no 
relation to the object pursued in the pre-dawn activity. 

Conclusions: 

It seems quite clear that the UFO excitement was caused primarily by the planet Venus. 

The case serves to illustrate the extreme elaboration which can develop from misinterpretation of a natural and ordinary phenomenon. 
Suggestion, coupled with common visual effects which are not familiar to or understood by the observer (see Section VI, Chapters 1 & 
2), frees the imagination, to produce the kinds of observations described in this case. 

The case also illustrates the appearance of motion of a stationary distant object, particularly that caused by the motion of the observer; 
the magnifying effects of haze scattering and near-horizon observation; and scintillation of a light near the earth's horizon. 

The rapid attrition of supporting information which the initial UFO sighting reports included also is demonstrated impressivel